The Plebiscite – What Are We Really Voting For?

have-your-sayThe date is set and the question that will be put to voters is: "Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?"

If you ask Bill Shorten, he’ll tell you the question that’s really being asked of Australians is: “Do you like gay people or do you hate gay people?”

Conversely, by Bill Shorten’s logic, the question might well be: “Do you love mums, or do you hate mums?”

The reality is that many who believe the truth that marriage is the unique and nonreplicable union between a man and a woman see this as a completely separate issue to how they feel about the LGBTQ community.

A minority of people from both sides of the debate have resorted to nastiness. Sadly, Bill Shorten is amongst the worst, resorting to name calling and blackmail in an attempt to prevent Australians from having a say.

The question we’re actually being asked is: “What does marriage really mean to us here in Australia?”

Is marriage a fanciful celebration of feelings? If so, who are we to deny the LGBTQ community their right to celebrate feelings? And why stop at TWO people per celebration? Who are we to deny polyamorous groups their right to celebrate? Because love is love… is love, right? Polyamory literally means ‘many loves.’ Watch: “You can’t ask That: Polyamorous

Is marriage a lifetime commitment? And what does commitment mean to us? Marriage, according to law in Australia, is “the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.” Under this definition, it means a monogamous relationship, but many SSM advocates want us to embrace a new meaning - “monogamish”.

A celebrated study by David McWhirter and Andrew Mattison of 156 stable male homosexual couples found that of the 100 couples who remained together after five years, not a single couple remained sexually faithful.

“My parents were faithful to each other, and I expected us to be the same,” said one man, expressing the non-infrequent ideal. But such hopes, the authors document, are simply contrary to homosexual yearnings.

Is marriage, as the Australian Human Rights Commission states, “the right to found a family”? According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2011, 76% of children were born in wedlock. To many Australians, marriage is a bastion for children to be raised by their biological mother and father. Of course, two men or two women cannot replicate this unique family unit. To create a family, they have no choice but to enlist the womb or sperm of a third party, removing from a child their chance for both a mum and a dad.

Discussion is already well underway to remove biologically binding titles from birth certificates, paving the way for two women or two men to be listed as parents. One can only imagine how complicated this will make genealogy searches if biological parents are no longer a necessity on legal documentation.

How do two men get a baby? Well, calls to legalise commercial surrogacy in Australia are already happening. After all, why should two men have to purchase babies from vulnerable women in third world nations to fulfil their dream of “founding a family” when they should be allowed to purchase babies from vulnerable women in Australia?

Is marriage the cornerstone of our society? In its current form, marriage between one man and one woman, both nurturing their biological children is held up as the ideal. It’s the best case scenario. Creating genderless marriage creates a new ideal as the cornerstone of our society. It says that gender doesn’t matter. It goes hand in hand with genderless education (and we’re already seeing toddlers, as young as 4, transitioning gender with support from the education system), genderless parenting and genderless facilities. Does gender matter? In his book Stealing from a Child – The Injustice of Marriage Equality, Dr David van Gend states: “The subversive idea that two men can ‘marry’ is contained within the bigger lie that male and female are merely social constructs and we can define our own gender. That is gnostic mysticism, not science, and that way madness lies.”

Does marriage mean ANYTHING? Thankfully in Australia, we have the benefit of hindsight from nations who have legalised genderless marriage. Take Holland, for example, where the rate of marriages has dropped significantly since the introduction of genderless marriage, with more and more people settling for civil unions. After all, if marriage is stripped of its inherent meaning, what’s the point?

At the end of the day, it’s important to be honest regarding about what this plebiscite is about… and what it isn’t. It is essentially about whether Australia will continue to have an institution to protect the ideal that a mum AND a dad matter to a child.  To reduce it to an opportunity for people to publicly declare whether they like a group of people or not is not only infantile and misleading, but sinister at its core.

On February 11, as long as Bill Shorten does not get in the way, Australians will have their say and it’s important for all of us to understand what exactly it is that we're saying.

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