We’re fighting for gay marriage today, but what does marriage mean in 2015? 43



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Today leader of the opposition Bill Shorten will put forward his bill to legalise gay marriage in Australia. This is the beginning of a long process where it will go to a vote (likely not until August or as late as November) and then legislation will be put in place. It’s a fight that so many Australians – irrespective of sexual preference – have been fighting and this bill could mark the start of Australia’s equality for same sex people. However, there’s one question that hasn’t been discussed, that should be. What does marriage mean in 2015? What exactly are we all fighting for?

Right now, couples have just about a 1 in 2.5 chance of getting divorced after marriage. It’s something that has decreased rapidly over the last few decades and something that is very scary. Once upon a time, marriages were a commitment that didn’t have an expiry date, they were something that we entered into knowing it was for life. So if there is such a slim chance of it working out for life – as we intend at the time of marrying, is there a point in fighting to have marriage for all when it so often doesn’t work?

A young radio host on Triple Js breakfast show who was openly gay said, “I don’t really want to get married, however it would be nice to know I’m equal with everyone else to have the option”.

And this is what most people need to understand about this same-sex marriage bill – it’s about equality, about giving every man and every woman equal rights, regardless of their sexual preference.

However, the question of what marriage means in 2015 is an interesting one.

We can assume that to most people it does mean actually making a commitment to someone else for the rest of your life. And we can assume that it means spending your life with them.

However, when it comes to the concept of living “as a couple” this isn’t something that you need marriage to do. Under Australian law, a couple who has lived together for more than  one year is classified as a De facto couple and has almost all of the same legal obligations and restraints as a married couple.

By definition, marriage is the “legally or formally recognised union of a man and woman as partners in a relationship”. So if there’s other ways to do this, that same-sex couples are already doing, why are they fighting for more?

Today let’s explore the concept of marriage and exactly what it is in 2015… It’s changed a lot over the last 60 years as have the roles within a marriage. So how do you see marriage today?

Tell us, what does marriage mean in 2015? Is it still sacred, despite the fact it so often doesn’t work? Is it something worth fighting for? Share your thoughts in the comments below… 



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  1. Those that are selfish want to retain the word marriage as their domain, those that are unselfish want happiness for all..I support marriage equality

    7 REPLY
    • Marriage equality in Parliament I agree with. My objection is to what comes next. Some Clergyman, Priest, Pastor, Celebrant, is vilified and maybe sued for refusing to conduct a Christian marriage service for them. I do care if someone else has their rights to refuse removed.

    • you think mentioning Clergyman, Priest, Pastor, Celebrant is name calling Alan Skelton?, I think they would call it job description..wake up

    • You CANNOT sue someone for refusing to perform a service they have no legal obligation to perform.
      Yes, they have a licence to perform a marriage ceremkny but they have no legal obligation to use that licence.
      That’s a bit lije saying someone who has a licence to drive a car can be sued if they refuse to drive.

    • It is already happening in the US. Clergy, florists, reception venues are being sued for refusing their services to gay couples.

    • The USA does not have the same laws as us. for instance they have the death penalty..we do not

  2. And, marriage isn’t about “revenge” when divorced where children are involved! Plus, I’ve heard from gay couples, that unlike “de facto couples”, their bequest on death is almost always challenged in court, by family members. They want equality “under the laws of the land”.

  3. Love is love..some people equate sex to love unfortunately. God asked us to love one another, so what’s the problem? In today’s world if you can find that special person you are fortunate indeed.

  4. Marriage is a personal choice between 2 people. I love my partner of 23 years, but being married does not come in to the picture. I was married once for 17 years, said I would not do it again, I haven’t. I am happy.

  5. To me, marriage doesn’t mean anything. I wouldn’t do it again, nor would my partner, but that’s not the point. The point is, every adult should have the right to marry if they wish. It will hurt no-one but will help drag Australia into the 21st century. (Still got a long way to go.)

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