I must declare up-front that these are solely my own views and I am writing as much to consolidate my own complicated thinking on this issue, as much as to share it with others. As later paragraphs will attest to, I am not writing in the interests of belittling opposition to my views and I acknowledge I am no authority on the matter. But I’m sure everyone has some view on this question and this post is basically me trying to make sense of mine.
Whilst I am obviously not shy about expressing my opinions on this here blog, I don’t often weigh in on really contentious issues. This however is a topic that has once again made headlines – this time for a very positive reason. One of our nearest neighbours, New Zealand, has joined the ranks of countries to legalise same-sex marriage.
Alright Australia, now it’s our turn.
I am a great advocate for the belief that everyone is entitled to their own opinions, beliefs, values and views. But I also believe very strongly that this privilege comes with an incredibly important responsibility to ensure your views don’t disadvantage, intimidate or otherwise negatively impact anyone else. This counts for trying to bully someone else into adopting your viewpoint, as well as belittling another’s opinions or discriminating against someone due to their differing beliefs.
So this is why I have a serious issue with the Marriage Equality Debate. As unfortunate as I may think this fact is, some people will never believe in same-sex marriage. But that’s the point – they don’t have to.
The issue of marriage equality doesn’t have to be about trying to convince the whole world to believe in marriage equality for all. Unfortunately for some people, this won’t be possible. But it is reasonable to suggest that these people simply respect others’ right to equality.
Because let’s not forget that this is an issue referred to as ‘Marriage Equality‘. Can we really be staunchly opposed to anything that promotes Equality?
If you don’t believe in gay marriage, don’t have a gay marriage. Just accept that some people do believe in it – more than anything – and it is their right just as much as it is yours, to stand in front of those who matter most to them and make a public commitment to love and respect another person.
I don’t think we need to ask everyone to love gay marriage. I just think we need to ask everyone to acknowledge that this is unjust and right the situation accordingly. Political and religious leaders do not have to entirely agree with same-sex marriage, and no celebrant should be forced to conduct such ceremonies if it is against their beliefs. Those who are for it can carry them out, and I don’t understand why the Government should have the power to prevent people from being married.
Some people are straight.
Some people are gay.
All people are people.
And all people deserve equality.