Thursday, November 15, 2012

Marriage equality.

Watch this -

Now that I have your attention and hopefully disgust like that video gave me, I would like you to read on. 
Recently my year 10 students have been doing persuasive oral presentations, which is a great avenue for them to direct their opinions. What I have found difficult is listening to a few presentations opposing same sex marriage. It disgusts me to see that some people believe they are above others so much that they can determine who they can commit their life to. The only people who should be able to decide on that is the two people in a loving relationship. What is even worse is that in Uganda they are currently trying to implement harsher penalties on homosexual people, for simply loving another human being. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-20318436. I know I am biased on this topic, as I hope to one day marry my girlfriend, but let me present you with some of the arguments they give against it. 

1. It is unnatural
So love is unnatural? Dying hair is unnatural too. Do they oppose that? I'm sure if they needed an organ donated they would want that. Would they ban it because they consider it unnatural? While I disagree that same sex relationships are unnatural, I put forward those questions just to show how much of life is 'unnatural'. 

                             
2. If it is allowed we will start opening the door to other things like incest marriage -
I find this so offensive. That someone is comparing the love I have with my partner to incest. I don't believe that they can even be acknowledged on the same level. But, if we take this argument let's look at the past. Once upon a time a black man could not marry a white woman. Women couldn't vote. Australia had a White Australian Policy (which didn't end until the 1960's). Times and evolution cause for change, but this doesn't mean people will become barbaric and want to marry their siblings. If my argument is confusing you check out this video.
                               
 

So the arguments being used against same-sex marriage are the same as those used against black people before the Civil Rights movement. But of course, things can't change, can they?

3. Australia is a religious country so it should not be allowed
Let me give you a word that you probably already know "Secularization or secularisation (see spelling differences) is the transformation of a society from close identification with religious values and institutions toward nonreligious (or irreligious) values and secular institutions. The secularization thesis refers to the belief that as societies "progress", particularly through modernization and rationalization, religion loses its authority in all aspects of social life and governance."

Now let me show you the Australian constitution. "section 116 of our Constitution states that parliament cannot discriminate against people because of their religion. It also says that religion must not be a prerequisite for office, nor can the state establish or promote any particular religion." (http://humanrights.gov.au/about/media/media_releases/op_ed/20091120_secular_nation.html)

So what does this all mean? It means that Australia's laws legally are not to be determined by religion. That they are totally separate. So we have to abide by the constitution in not marrying, but the constitution doesn't need to be followed when passing the same sex marriage bill? Seems a little contradictory to me. 

4. It is against the bible
If you believe on basing your views on something you have no actual proof exists (yet there is mountains of scientific proof of evolution) you will probably use the bible as an argument. I can't blame you. It has probably been instilled and guilt-ed into you by your parents since you could talk. You have probably heard these scriptures again and again in church:
  • 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 - "Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God." (NIV).
  • Leviticus 18:22 - "Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable." (NIV)
  • Leviticus 20:13 - "If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads." (NIV)
I suppose though you have also read these:
  • As for your male and female slaves whom you may have-- you may acquire male and female slaves from the pagan nations that are around you.Leviticus 25.44
  • I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.Timothy 2:12
  • Let the women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but let them be in subjection, as also saith the law. 
  • And if they would learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home: for it is shameful for a woman to speak in the church.1 Corinthians 14:34-35
  • You shall not round off the side-growth of your heads nor harm the edges of your beard Leviticus 19.27
  • Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable.Peter 2.18
It appears that some sins are worse than others, and people tend to pick and choose what they will out of the bible for the arguments. Of course, the bible is not outdated at all, so it must all be true (sarcasm). Haven't convinced you yet? Follow this link. Even if I have convinced you follow the link. It's brilliant - http://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/drlaura.asp

                      

Here is a link for the above picture in case you can't read it. http://bobcargill.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/biblical-marriage.jpg

5. If gay people are allowed to marry it will make other people gay
Um? Really? Is this really an argument? Well ok, I'll work with it if I must. Newsflash, allowing gay marriage isn't going to create more gay people. People will be gay whether or not it is legal. All it will do is allow gay people to see that they are accepted by their society, and that it is ok for them to be who they are. Now, while some may look at the figures and say that it has created more gay people, an intelligent person would see how it opened the doors for people to accept who they are. 

Listen to this song. Just do it. 

6. Kids need a mother and a father
Firstly, I thought this bill was about marriage, not parenting, but anyway, as people choose to use this as an argument I will bring it up. All gay couples I know ensure that the child has both a strong male and female figure in their life. All children I know who have same sex attracted parents believe they have had a loving childhood, often much better than those of their peers. To have a child when you are gay you must go through a lot of planning. If someone is willing to go through all that wouldn't that mean they want the child so badly, and will therefore give it unconditional love? Wouldn't it be better to have two loving parents than two parents who do not get along? It certainly was for the man in the following clip.
                                      

7. They weren't born gay. It's a choice
There is no hard evidence to support this. While it is questioned a lot whether it's nature or nurture, recent research has contested that it is part of one's genetic make-up. Click on the link to read more about this. 

One of my students argued that it's because gay people were brought up in gay households by parents who weren't strict enough on them. Um, pardon me if I'm wrong, but isn't it usually heterosexual people who give birth to gay people?            
Furthermore, why would someone choose to be gay? Don't get me wrong, I love my girlfriend and our relationship, but being gay hasn't been the easiest road. You have to prepare to be judged, ostracized from your friends and family, and discriminated every day of your life. "According to Suicide Prevention Australia, 38% of gay people have experienced discrimination. 50% have experienced verbal abuse. And shockingly, 74% of this abuse happened at school. Around 30% of Australian gay teenagers will attempt suicide. In Australia, on average over 200 young people will suicide this year. Around 30% of Australia’s gay teenagers will attempt suicide. Gay teens are 14 times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers." (http://www.samesame.com.au/support/5987/Wear-It-Purple-to-support-gay-youth-at-risk.htm).  

Now, I can imagine some would argue that this is because being gay is a mental illness (even though it was removed from the DSM in the late 1970's), but I can guarantee you that this would be because of the judgement and exclusion by others. La Trobe University's 2011 'Writing themselves in' report, which surveyed the experiences of over 3,000 gay youth between 14 and 21, found that 79 per cent of students attracted to the same sex had been physically assaulted or verbally abused. Would you choose to be subjected to this?
(http://www.sharongrierson.com/SharonGrierson/Resources/120820%
20Marriage%20Amendment%20PMB%20Jones_GRIERSON.pdf) 

Moreover, a student argued that babies aren't gay. Hmm, ok, I didn't realise that babies were sexual beings (Freud would argue this). Many people do not realise they are gay until they start to get to an age when they are attracted to others. The same way people do not realise they are straight during the 'boy/girl germs' phase. When one asks 'how did you know were gay?' the answer should be as simple as 'how did you know you were straight?'

8. We can't change the constitution. It's always been that way  
Funny that, because it was not until 2004 that the Howard government changed the 1961 bill by amending it to say “Marriage, means the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life." Prior to this there was no specification as to whether gay people could marry or not in Australia. Obviously our bills are something that can be changed at will, so why now does it appear to be fixed?

I find it very heartbreaking that there is so much hate and fear in the world. That people are fighting against this when it doesn't affect them in any way. That they feel they can take away someone's human right for equality because they don't understand it. Let me just remind you of the United Nations declaration of human rights. "Basic rights and fundamental freedoms are inherent to all human beings, inalienable and equally applicable to everyone, and that every one of us is born free and equal in dignity and rights. Whatever our nationality, place of residence, gender, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status, the international community on December 10 1948 made a commitment to upholding dignity and justice for all of us". (http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/hr_law.shtml)                                     

I will conclude my argument with a clip that shows why we need marriage equality...because gay people are just the same as everyone else. We love, we hurt, we feel joy and sorrow, we bleed, and our hearts can break. 
Feel free to add comments below. 

2 comments:

  1. I don't understand why people still oppose same sex marriage. As far as i can tell other people marriages have nothing to do with your own. If Fred and Wilma want to get married then their marriage will mean nothing to me as I'm not in it. Why would Fred and Barney's be any different?
    If gay marriage makes that big of an impact on your life and your marriage than 1) your life must be very empty and/or 2) your marriage mustn't mean that much to you.
    How is one persons love more important, more worthwhile and more real than someone elses? Who do these people think they are for taking away a human right?! I cannot stand how hypocritical the church is. They pick and choose what they want from their 'bible' and dictate their personal beliefs onto the rest of the world and expect us to sit back and take it? I'm glad everyone is starting to take a stand, starting to talk out and starting the motion of change. Love is love.
    And i am straight. I have brown hair also, but that fact is as unimportant as the fact I'm straight. It makes no difference.
    I hope one day you can marry your girlfriend if that is the path you wish to take. Much like straight couples who don't want to get married i hope yours is by choice, not by a government run by hypocritical douchbags.

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  2. I don't know where to start, um lets see yes to all of the above ..... I believe that it is human rights not just gay rights. It is a human right to be loved and love it doesn't matter who from. I can write forever about this, no I am not gay but I love people regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, religion or race. If you do wrong by me that that is between me and you i will not blame your whole culture/race/people because of it. I would love to see my uncles marry, they have been together longer than i have been alive ....i love this blog entry. Well done Em

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