This is an expression of my opinion on a hot topic of late. I expect the same respect as any other person does and deserves and thus should be afforded without being abused or threatened. Respectful debate is accepted.
“Police, their representatives and supporters tell us, ensure our freedom of speech through your ability to protest.”……Luke O’Neil
Freedom. It’s taken for granted in this country. We find it really hard to listen to those who have differing opinions or ways of thinking. Often, we try to convince the other they are wrong instead of being tolerant and remembering each of us has a right to put our thoughts forward without fear. It is very obvious that lately, the freedoms of many are being oppressed and denied.
The definition of freedom is:
- Exemption from external control, interference, regulations, etc.
- He won his freedom after a retrial.
- The state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint.
- The power to determine action without restraint.
- Political or national independence.
- Personal liberty, as opposed to bondage or slavery
- A slave bought his freedom.
- Exemption from the presence of anything specified (usually followed by ‘from’)
- Freedom from fear.
- The absence of or release from ties, obligations, etc.
- Ease or facility of movement or action
- To enjoy the freedom of living in the country.
- Frankness of manner or speech.
- General exemption or immunity.
- Freedom from taxation.
- The absence of ceremony or reserve.
- A liberty taken.
- A particular immunity or privilege enjoyed, as by a city or corporation
- Freedom to levy taxes.
- Civil liberty, as opposed to subjection to an arbitrary or despotic government.
- The right to enjoy all the privileges or special rights of citizenship, membership, etc, in a community of the like.
- The right to frequent, enjoy, or use at will
- To have the freedom of a friend’s library.
- Philosophy, the power to exercise choice and make decisions from within or without; autonomy; self-determination.
- Freedom of speech or conscience.
Agree or disagree, and whether anyone likes it or not, Same-Sex Marriage is open to debate and scrutiny because it is challenging the long-standing, centuries old, and for purpose of law, the consequential legal definition, of marriage. Anything which comes in and wants to change that is obviously going to be met with opposition. The party wanting to make the change should (and rightly so) have sound reasoning which has solid standing.
Excluding a group of people from anything on the basis of any of the areas in the Anti-Discrimination Act is illegal in Australia. However, there are exceptions to those rules and they have been exercised on a number of occasions. A couple of areas are a) the hiring of individuals of Aboriginal decent into positions which deal with a high volume of Aboriginal people, and b) all-women gyms. I’m sure there are others which you may be aware of.
Marriage, or Traditional Marriage as it is currently being referred as, somehow doesn’t fit the exception rule. We are being told it is discrimination to withhold the privilege of marriage on the basis of sexual orientation. If we want to do that, let’s look at the original, and sole reason marriage exists at all.
The whole purpose of marriage is for the procreation of the species, irrespective of any offspring being produced within the union or not. It was expected that the couple be virgins and so knowing if a couple were fertile was only determined when attempting to have children. Sex was forbidden until marriage to prevent children being born outside the confines of marriage. All of that has changed only in recent history. However, (excluding religion from the equation) despite the fact that love is love and children can be raised with same-sex parents just as well as anyone else, I fail to see a solid argument that it is indeed discrimination, only due to the fact that same-sex couples are incapable of naturally conceiving offspring together so don’t meet criteria for the reason why marriage exists in the first place.
In my opinion, changing the reason for marriage voids it being called marriage altogether for anyone no matter what gender they identify with. Marriage was created for a sole reason and without that reason, it no longer is marriage. If you take the reason away from anything for which it’s originally purposed, it no longer is what it was but is something else and it would rightly be called something else. For example: a kitchen table, even though it can never be anything but a table, stops being a kitchen table when it starts being solely used to put a computer and office items. It is then called a desk, or simply just a table. Same with marriage, I believe. Even though people are people and love is love (love being the determining factor for most hetero couples to decide to marry which leads to having children together) it stops being marriage when the purpose for which it was created is changed. It is no longer marriage but something else. A definition is the explanation of what something is in order to understand it’s purpose and marriage ceases to exist if its definition is changed because its purpose is also changed. Its purpose is no longer procreation but solely an expression of love.
From what I can tell, this is not about children and if they are safe being raised by same-sex parents. It’s not even about if love is an enough reason to get married. And it definitely is not about whether it’s a religious institution. It’s about if it is discrimination for same-sex couples not being able to get married and if the definition of marriage should change in consequence. Under the present definition for marriage, which can be nothing but marriage due to its purpose and definition, my current standing is ‘no’.
What has strengthened my stance is the amount of abuse and intolerance shown to anyone who supports a ‘no’ response regardless for their reasonings. There is nothing more wrong with defending marriage as it is just like there is nothing wrong with anyone choosing to support the change. Neither side should have to put up with any violence. I keep hearing how this doesn’t affect me, but clearly it does. Just writing this could cost me my job and reputation as it has others around the country. I also risk violent attacks because of my views. But I’m hoping there are more tolerant people out there than there are abusive people and trust that I will be let exercise my right to free speech without fear. If not, then truly freedom must be an illusion.
So far, I have witnessed polite expression of opinions amongst my Facebook friends on various posts floating about. Hopefully, it continues long into the future because this is not going anywhere any time soon.
The plebiscite is an opportunity for all Australians to have a say. Whatever the outcome, don’t let your voice remain unheard. Take the two seconds it will cost you to tick ‘yes’ or ‘no’.