Kris posted a link a while back to an article about an anti gay marriage activist who has changed his tune, and now supports relationship equality. Here is a link to a letter that was sent to him, that he quotes as being a turning point in his attitude.
Next Thursday, I am going to meet with my local federal MP about relationship equality. I am going to ask her to speak in favour of reform at the next ALP national conference. There are a few points I’d like to discuss with her, and perhaps you can help me to clarify my thoughts, and add some new ones?
° Marriage is the basic fundamental unit of our society. Marriage is the first step in building a family, and a family helps us to have the support and love that we need to be our best. Marriage provides stability, a framework for growth, an economic platform, and a framework for moral behaviour. Why should your choice of partner exclude you from the best that being a grown up has to offer? Why should any group of society be denied this basic human right?
° Not allowing people to marry is discrimination. The ALP recently removed all forms of discrimination, so that gays and lesbians now have no fear of discrimination on the basis of sexuality. Really? I don’t think so. If you can discriminate and say that a person can’t marry, and yet still call them equal, it’s hypocrisy. Equal means EQUAL, not “almost equal”.
° There is a distinction between civil marriage and religious marriage in the minds of many. To my mind, the distinction is irrelevant to most people who want a civil ceremony, but quite important to those who want to marry within the church. Since most opposition to relationship equality comes from a religious perspective, why not legalise civil marriages and let the religious debate take place where it belongs, in the church.
° It has been said that gay marriage de-values heterosexual marriage. It is my belief that the opposite is true, that gay marriage adds to the value of relationship recognition. When Britney Spears marries in Las Vegas and the marriage is annulled the next day, marriage is made a mockery. But standing beside my husband on my wedding day, it occurred to me that my marriage was meaningless until my best man (who just happens to be gay) won’t be able to marry the love of his life (when he finds him!) just because he is gay. What does my marriage mean in the light of the fact that my dear friends who are in every way just as committed, just as in love, just as responsible, just as wonderful parents, etc, what does it say about marriage, that my relationship is “worthy”, and theirs is not?
° It may not make sense to a lot of people why a happily married woman cares so much about this issue. But the truth is, it was my own marriage that sealed the deal for me. I met someone I adored, and wanted to spend the rest of my life with. We decided to make it official, and our silly, joyful ceremony amongst our nearest and dearest, and our fabulous party afterwards meant so much to me. It seems like such a callous injustice to deny this joy, this stability, this support, to anyone who sincerely seeks it.