Free, we’re supposed to be

rainbow hearts

I caught a segment wrapping up the week on talk back radio a few days ago and instantly found myself connecting what I was listening to with a wonderful blog I read earlier, on love being all that really matters in life (Love is everything). The talk back discussion was about the right for same-sex couples to marry.

Same-sex marriage is not legal in Australia but it is legal in several nations around the world. Campaigns and protests for and against marriage equality are currently running throughout the country in the lead up to an election.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has asked for parliament to hold a conscience vote on gay marriage. But the opposition leader won’t allow party members (MPs) to have this conscience vote and because the political leader of this other major political party won’t permit members to vote as they wish and not as a party, the whole of Australia stays locked.

That one person in politics is the biggest obstacle in changing the Marriage Act in Australia. It’s amazing and somewhat embarrassing to believe that one person can have such power in a liberated and democratic society.

The gender of the person you love is irrelevant. Gender isn’t a concern to other animals so why should it be to humans. It is not uncommon to see domestic dogs of the same gender form strong bonds and simulate sex. In fact research studies on animal homosexuality show that more than 450 species of animals in the wild and in captivity take part in acts of homosexuality. Same-sex animals coupling up can be just as life-long as they are in humans (Bagemihl: 2000). Homosexual acts have been widely documented across a range of mammal species that include apes and monkeys, with only about 3% monogamous and cohabitating.

So what’s different for humans?

Love, commitment, enjoying the company of another and happy to be with someone special is what matters. Loving is celebrated is so many ways but in essence, it’s about giving love and receiving it and if you have that, not much else matters, regardless of your gender or that of the person you love.

In love, there’s happiness and isn’t that the point of life?

A law that allows two people in a committed, loving relationship to marry, same-sex or otherwise, makes them accountable under that law to protect their family and the children in their care. It protects the rights of both people in that committed relationship, regardless of gender, and adds to a couple’s and family’s health and well-being.

Civil unions aren’t as widely understood or respected as marriage and creating a separate name for same-sex relationships again leads to discrimination. Same-sex partners can legally be considered de facto partners but only a marriage certificate gives instant and guaranteed access to legal relationship entitlements.

More importantly, marriage is a choice made by two people in a relationship to legalise their union for life.

And that’s the key – the choice to marry.

All humans deserve the right to have that choice and not be discriminated against on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender.

So how can one person in politics block the right for all people in Australia, to choose to marry?

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