Same Sex Marriage Passes in Australia

There is some very good news for the world as the Australian Parliament has (finally?) passed a bill that allows for same sex marriage. In celebration of this event, the nice people at Carvaka have put together a lovely little video outlining the amazing progress the world is making in respect of legalising gay marriage.

I was very heartened to see that South Africa was one of the first countries in the world to legalise same sex marriage, although there are a number of caveats that make something of a mockery of this legislation (marriage officers, both civil and religious, are not obliged to marry a same sex couple) — perhaps we need to campaign to get that changed (along with the bizarre notion that government officials are allowed to ‘use their personal discretion’ when deciding whether or not to process the documents that allow for transgender people to register their correct sex, regardless of whether or not the person has jumped through all the right hoops)? The law also was frankly weird in that up until this year, transgender people who had got married (as an ostensibly heterosexual couple) before transition, had to formally divorce after transitioning if they wanted their sex to be properly recorded on their identity documents. This was frankly weird and was rightly (and successfully) challenged by Adelle Hertz earlier this year.

I hope you enjoy the video and join me in welcoming Australians into the fold of progressive countries where people are free to express their love for one another regardless of what you may (or may not) find between their legs!

 

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2 Comments

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  1. I am trans and happy , our country’s progression to a more free society is wonderful, it does not effect me as I’m just a boring hetro trans girl that has jumped all the hoops to get to my space and can marry at will
    We do say a free society. So I think it is just that clergy or celebrants that do not wish to perform these rights on gay or whatever couples is ok. It’s their right to , why would you want someone to marry you if they don’t have their heart in it ? You don’t go to Mc Donald’s to by a whopper do you

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    • I suppose my point of departure is that a marriage officer is licensed by the state to perform a civil service. As such if the state says that two people are allowed to marry, I see no valid reason for the marriage officer to withhold the right to that rite (sorry couldn’t resist the pun)… If they have a moral or ethical problem then they should relinquish their license as a marriage officer. In the case of a religious leader they could then still bless and perform whatever rites they wish, you would just need a duly licensed marriage officer to make the marriage legal… Being a priest gives you no right to perform the marriage ceremony. That is a right conferred by the state, not the church. Therefore I see no valid reason for the state NOT to be able to compel people that they have licensed to perform the act to do their duty to society. I am also of the opinion that having a right that cannot be exercised is not a right at all… Rights that are limited, curtailed or cannot be exercised are in fact not rights, but privileges. As soon as one group of people (heterosexuals for example) have a right, but another group (homosexuals, for example), can only do that same thing as a privilege, then that is a de facto discriminatory practice. As the South African constitution prohibits discrimination based on race, sex, sexuality, gender etc we have an unconstitutional law. Yes, we may have a (more?) free society, but that doesn’t mean that we should tolerate things that are discriminatory just because on the surface they appear less discriminatory than in the past. Inequality remains inequality.

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