In her latest Mamamia column, Shadow Foreign Affairs Minister Tanya Plibersek makes a case for changing the Marriage Act.
Over the Easter long weekend I went to beautiful Tasmania for a wedding. Friends and family of the couple had gathered from around the country and around the world. There wasn’t a dry eye as the mother of the groom, a marriage celebrant, married the couple as the first light drops of autumn rain fell from the sky.
When twin rainbows emerged over the Huon river like a purpose-made backdrop just in time for the photos they seemed a fittingly optimistic symbol.
This young woman and man were celebrating the journey they’ve made already, and declaring to their friends and family that they’re in it together, for the long haul.
It is truly beyond me how something so joyous should be denied to a whole group of Australians just because the person they’ve fallen in love with is the same gender.
Related content: This video turns the anti-marriage equality argument on its head.
Marriage is, for some, a religious sacrament. No-one I know is suggesting that churches should be forced to provide that sacrament against the rules of the church. But marriage is also a legal commitment made before the state, and a celebration involving family, friends, and community.
There is no ethical justification for the state denying same sex couples the legal rights and responsibilities marriage brings, nor our community denying the public acknowledgment of the legitimacy of same sex relationships.
The Australian community is way ahead of their government on this: more than three in every five Australians support marriage equality.