A segment wrapping up the week on talk back radio got me thinking. The discussion was about the right for same-sex couples to marry.
As of May 2015, nineteen countries have laws that give same-sex couples the freedom to marry – Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina, Denmark, France, Brazil, Uruguay, New Zealand, Britain, Luxembourg, Finland and most recently and resoundingly, Ireland. Mexico and the United States have regional or court-directed provisions that give that freedom to marry while the Slovenian parliament approved a marriage bill in March 2015.
Same-sex marriage isn’t legal in Australia and campaigns and protests are ongoing. Australian Marriage Equality is working to win marriage equality Australia-wide and is organising a rally for a free vote for marriage equality this coming Saturday in Melbourne.
Previous Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, asked for parliament to hold a conscience vote on same-sex marriage in 2013. The then opposition leader wouldn’t allow party members to participate and subsequently, the whole of Australia remained locked.
It’s outrageous that one person in politics had that much power in a supposed liberated and democratic society. It’s embarrassing.
Sadly, that then Opposition Leader is now Prime Minister of Australia. Thankfully, party members are breaking rank.
Gender is irrelevant when it comes to love and even as I say that, I don’t understand why it’s necessary for me to say that. Gender isn’t a concern to other animals and we humans are animals after all. It’s 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 animal coupling 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 three per cent monogamous and cohabitating.
So why should humans be any different.
Care, commitment and enjoying the company of another are what matter, regardless of gender. When that first thunderbolt in a stirring storm, that unexpected flicker of the quickest flash that catches your eye just long enough to wonder what has struck your heart’s core … or that provocative glance that builds in warmth, the soft nurture that hops your heart to send a rush of natural high and extremes of intensity. A glance becomes a gaze that zaps, a touch becomes an explosion of internal fireworks as lust dawns as early morning sun bursting over a cloud-streaked sky without the propulsion of a skerrick of breeze. Fresh, boundless energy of infinite potential, excitement and lust that build in internal feeling of comfortability, that something that resonates between two people on an inexplicable plane, the connectedness two people feel right to the core of their heart … Love.
Shouldn’t that be all that matters, of happiness, giving and receiving, of loving and living? Regardless of gender.
A law that allows two people in a committed, loving relationship to marry, same-sex or otherwise, provides an accountable law to protect families, the rights of both people in that committed relationship. It can add to a couple’s and family’s health and well-being.
Sure, civil unions and domestic partnerships exist but they’re considered second-class. They allow people to take on commitments and responsibilities akin to marriage but they’re no substitute for the full measure of respect, clarity, security and responsibilities of marriage.
To be clear here, I’m not advocating marriage. I’m advocating the right for two people in love and in a relationship to legalise their union for life through the legal and ceremonial sanction of marriage.
And that’s the key – the choice to marry.
All humans are worthy of that right, the choice to marry and not be discriminated against on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender. No right exists for people to inflict personal values, views and prejudices, particularly those that sully the love and union between two people.
And yet, we’ve let that happen.
For more information on marriage equality, go to: