308 – Vote yes for marriage equality

Australians currently have a chance to vote for marriage equality by postal ballot. I know this is a bit off the usual topics for this blog, but it’s something I feel strongly about. If you have the right to vote, here are six reasons to vote yes.

1. Because it’s the kind and decent thing to do. It would create joy for many thousands of people without hurting anybody.

2. Because gay people still face prejudice in many forms, and still attempt suicide at higher rates than their peers. Voting yes would be one small step towards turning this around.

3. Because we should not let the religious beliefs of a minority dictate how the rest of us live our lives. There is and should be a separation of church and state in Australia. Nobody should be required to follow the dictates of a religion to which they do not voluntarily subscribe. That is the real issue of religious freedom here – quite the opposite of what some “no” advocates are claiming.

4. Because the position of some Christians against same-sex marriage is not supported by the Bible anyway (Whitaker, 2017). The Bible has vastly more to say about being kind and generous than the few vague fragments it includes on homosexuality. Nowhere does it actually proscribe same-sex marriage. In the Old Testament, it does say that a man lying with another man instead of his wife is an “abomination”. But (a) this is about adulterous sex, not marriage between a loving couple, and (b) there is an interesting list of other things that the Old Testament also describes as abominations, including wearing mixed-fabric clothing, tattoos, mocking the blind by putting obstacles in their way, and trimming your beard. Why are we not having a postal plebiscite on the trimming of beards? The highly selective focus of some Christians on homosexuality is hypocritical. Neither testament of the Bible says anything whatsoever against lesbians.

5. Because Australia is lagging behind the rest of the civilised world. Same-sex marriage is already legal in The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina, Denmark, France, Brazil, Uruguay, New Zealand, the UK, Ireland, the US, Luxemburg, Colombia, Greenland, Finland, Slovenia, Germany and Taiwan.

6. Because this change is inevitable, and saying no now would needlessly delay us doing the right thing. It prolongs the debate and increases the number of public expressions of anti-gay prejudices.

Post your completed survey form back by 31 October to be sure of meeting the deadline.

Further reading

Whitaker, R.J. (2017). Same-sex marriage: What does the Bible really have to say? Here

10 Comments

  • Jenny Simpson
    24 September, 2017 - 6:55 am | link

    YES!!!

  • Ann Hamblin
    24 September, 2017 - 8:17 am | link

    Good one Dave. I am glad you have used your blog for this topic and have given such a kind and reasoned statement on it. For many Australian same-sex couples there may also be another practical reason for being married, and that relates to the recognition of the spouse as next-of-kin, and issues of inheritance and other legal and financial matters, which I believe vary from state to state.

    When I read the full list of countries that have already made same-sex marriage legal I am struck with how many are predominantly Catholic. Perhaps one day we can be as enlightened as Spain, and not only have legal same-sex marriage, but also make organ donorship the default position when someone dies so that one has to opt out not in, rather than our cumbersome and ineffective system of having to nominate as a prior organ donor and even then get family permission at the time of death.

  • 24 September, 2017 - 9:15 am | link

    David,
    As a lapsed Church goer, but as one who still tries to live by the Christian teachings, by and large I agree with your opinion, but I think you have glossed over some facts and failed to discuss some important aspects to the debate. You maintain we should follow the civilised world, let us not take that too far. As for your comments on the subjects you have chosen from what is written in the Bible, any scholar, Christian or not, would consider your comments more than a bit silly.
    What I have difficulty understanding in this so-called debate is the aggression and in some cases violence which emanates, it seems, from the ‘yes’ side of the debate. The violence is deliberate, obviously planned, and it demeans us as a nation in front of what you refer to as the civilised world. I have no idea what the uncivilised world thinks of us, what they think of the proposition, or even where they are.
    I have relatives all over the world, some Gay. They are unanimous in the view that the changes they made to the marriage laws and same-sex marriage have not turned out in the way they expected, the rainbow has become a bit fragmented. So I think you are wrong to maintain that if we don’t follow the civilised world then we will be something of an oddity. I believe that if the ‘no’ vote prevails it will be a demonstration, though not a good one, of democracy at work, in, thank heaven, ‘the civilised world’.

    • 24 September, 2017 - 4:47 pm | link

      Thanks Roger. I’ll just comment on the violence aspect. As far as I’m aware there has only been one act of violence attributed to somebody on the yes side. Some peanut head butted Tony Abbott, and immediately said that it was not about marriage equality but about his general loathing of Abbott. According to the media, there has been one other act of violence – an attack by ‘no’ campaigners on Kevin Rudd’s godson. Almost everyone would agree that both acts were deplorable.

  • Allan Holmes
    24 September, 2017 - 3:05 pm | link

    good on you Dave

  • Ross
    24 September, 2017 - 8:28 pm | link

    A well-considered, clearly articulated, and authentic post. As always.

    Thank you David.

  • Louise Barton
    24 September, 2017 - 10:45 pm | link

    Very good Dave.

  • Roy Murray-Prior
    25 September, 2017 - 7:01 am | link

    Onya David. All good arguments. Not to mention the cost (economic & trauma) of having to go through this again if we don’t.

  • Karen G
    26 September, 2017 - 7:32 pm | link

    Yes, yes, yes!! Well done Dave. A considered discussion on a subject our polies should have just voted on within Parliament saving many, many $, reducing angst & not giving a stage for homophobic rhetoric.

  • Joey
    3 October, 2017 - 3:57 pm | link

    I wish I could vote yes for it, as I really want to! Thanks David.

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