The Courier-Mail


The gay marriage debate is more about emotion than the law, writes Rowan Dean


I WAS once a strong supporter of gay marriage. Or rather, if I’m honest, I was a strongly apathetic supporter of gay marriage.

It’s one of those issues that to me, and I’m sure to many people, is best summed up with a shrug of the shoulders and a lazy “yeah, whatever. Why shouldn’t they get married? Who cares? It’s just a word.”

And that’s the fundamenta­l problem with the debate — the word.

Advocates of gay marriage — and they are all clambering out of the woodwork now — like to exaggerate and dress the issue up in much grander fashion, putting feathers and bows and glitter on their arguments like a flamboyant tranny on a mardi gras float. Fancy phrases such as “discrimina­tion”, “justice”, “human rights” and “marriage equality” come to mind.

Many also make asinine comparison­s with Martin Luther King etc, but the reality is that there is no serious legal discrimina­tion against homosexual­s, or more importantl­y against homosexual partnershi­ps and parenting in this country, and hasn’t been for many years.

Certainly there’s none that couldn’t be addressed without taking the huge step of altering the Marriage Act.

Indeed, the Australian Marriage Equality website, which kindly provides “12 reasons why marriage equality matters” uses emotive words such as “responsibi­lities” and “acceptance” but struggles to find any genuine legal disadvanta­ges that gay lovers might face.

It focuses more on feelings and other abstract (and largely unprovable) assertions such as “married people are healthier, happier and live longer” and that their children “feel better off”. On the other hand marriage inequality, they claim, “sends out a negative message”.

Arguments for gay marriage quickly give way to touchy-feely psychobabb­le rather than address genuine “wrongs” that need correcting.

Nobody would deny that Love with a capital L, is allimporta­nt and the basis for a happy, fulfilling and meaningful life. And of course declaring your love for another person, splashing out on a big party, swearing vows of allegiance, shacking up under one roof and raising a couple of snotty-nosed sprogs is fantastic, but there is nothing in our current laws to prevent homosexual couples doing just that.

Surely this whole issue could be dealt with far more simply by creating a new, appealing and legal term for gay marriage?

After all, in order to satisfy what is essentiall­y a question of identity politics and emotional blackmail, we are prepared to tear down one institutio­n that has served Western civilisati­on extremely well for centuries and replace it with something untried and untested.

Advocates celebrate the Irish decision, forgetting that one in three people in that country voted against samesex marriage.

That’s a large chunk of society whose opinions have been trampled underfoot.

Worryingly, this debate, which is supposedly about “love”, has seen intense levels of vitriol, hatred and demonising of any who dares to express concerns about the change.

The political struggle, which I suspect will succeed here, too, is to alter the meaning of the word from a “union between a man and a woman” to a “union between two people”. Phew. Job done.

Everyone walks away happy and Bill Shorten, Tanya Plibersek, Kevin Rudd, Malcolm Turnbull, Chris Bowen and any other pollie who made a fuss of “changing their mind” or “being on the right side of history” can rush out a rainbow-coloured memoir saying how they led and won the fight for marriage equality. After the champagne has stopped flowing and the confetti has been swept up, a couple of niggling problems remain.


Firstly, the whole premise of “marriage equality” is built on a lie. The word “equal” means “the same” and there is nothing the same about a heterosexu­al marriage and a homosexual one.

For the most part, a heterosexu­al marriage can (and does) result in the couple jointly creating a family of human beings who exclusivel­y share their joint DNA.

A homosexual couple can never do that — quite a fundamenta­l difference.

Marriage “equality” will therefore be a legally sanctioned lie introduced, as far as I can tell, because a large number of homosexual­s fancy the idea of hijacking the word “marriage” for their own emotional gratificat­ion.

Secondly, with the term “marriage” now altered, what is the new term to describe the lawful union of two people who procreate? A DNA-fusion affections­hip or co-inhabitant procreatio­nship doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue.

Thirdly, if the word can so easily be redefined, why stop there? Before we sign on the dotted, as it were, it is impossible to think of a single, genuine, intellectu­ally honest argument that allows marriage to mean “the loving union of two people” but doesn’t allow it to also mean “the loving union of three people”.

That’s the trouble with words. Once you start fiddling with their meaning, who knows where you will end up?

Discrimina­ting against the basic human rights of all those disadvanta­ged polygamist­s, I suspect.

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 ??  ?? I DO: Advocates of same-sex marriage celebrate the Irish decision, although one in three voted against it. Picture: AP
I DO: Advocates of same-sex marriage celebrate the Irish decision, although one in three voted against it. Picture: AP

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