Subsection 5(1) of the Australian Marriage Act 1961 defines marriage as ‘...the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.’ In these nineteen words, Australian law promotes inequality, marginalises and discriminates against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) Australians. Same sex marriage, the celebration and recognition of love and commitment by members of the same gender, is outlawed by the Australian Government in the grotesquely out-dated Marriage Act 1961. Same sex marriage is a social policy issues, it affects many people and there are many strong, emotional opinions relating to it. The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), which was founded by an act of federal Parliament in the late 1980’s, claims that Australia is working towards being a country with equal human rights – if this is so, why is restrictive, oppressive, fifty year old marriage legislation still in place? Does the Australian Government follow Bob Katter’s ‘everyone is equal, but not all relationships are equal’ theory? (Sadler, 2011). LGBTIQ couples think and feel the same as heterosexual couples; they are simply two human beings that love each other. “Non-heterosexuals are impelled to matrimony by the same force that moves heterosexuals: they love someone.” (Edwards, 2009).
Australian Human Rights Commission. (2011). About the Commission. Retrieved from http://www.hreoc.gov.au/about/index.html
Edwards, J. (2009). Gay marriage: Social revolution, evolution or largely insignificant?. Retrieved from http://www.australianreview.net/digest/2009/12/edwards.html
Marriage Act 1961 (Clth) s.5.1. Retrieved from http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Series/C2004A07402
Sadler, M. (2011, August 11). Gay marriage should be ridiculed, says Independent Bob Katter. News Limited. Retrieved from http://www.news.com.au/national/gay-marriage-should-be-ridiculed-says-in...