Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Love and (State) Marriage

I must admit I didn't see this coming - gays getting married under Tasmanian law.

Is this a genuine possibility? Theoretically, yes. Sydney Uni constitutional law expert Prof George Williams is saying that, because the Libs' Marriage Amendment Act last year defined marriage in federal law solely as between a man and a woman, state laws permitting gay marriage would no longer overlap with federal laws and thus not be unconstitutional. Effectively there would be two pieces of parallel legislation. The Greens, who yesterday introduced the gay marriage bill into Tasmanian parliament, are already (and somewhat smugly) identifying this as "an extreme irony" on John Howard's part.

Times like this you can understand why the Howard government is so desperate to do away with federalism and dismantle the states. If those pesky commos aren't giving them a headache over the GST, they're allowing homo degenerates to piss on sacred institutions and subvert the sanctity of the family.*

(*Irony, people. Irony.)

I'm sure the responses to this latest "social engineering" (I wonder if they'll start offering that as a Bachelor's course at uni sometime soon?) will be boringly predictable.

Coalition/Family First/Murdoch media/Right columnists: Make-Your-Own-Rant from mixing and matching the following cliches:

undermining the family unit

oppression by vocal minority interest groups, imposition of unhealthy choice of lifestyle

marriage as only between one man and one woman has existed since before the universe

the homos already have their precious little rights and protections under state law. they don't need any more

this will set a dangerous precedent for all those wicked polygamy/beastiality/E-type Jaguar marriage advocates to present their case too

The Libs are striking pre-emptively, claiming they have legal advice proving a Tasmanian same-sex marriage law would be unconstitutional. As always they waste no time.

Labor: "We love the homosexuals. I mean look, we've got Tanya Plibersek and Penny Wong now, what more do you want? We just don't think you should be allowed to marry, you disgusting godless criminals, so back the fuck off."

Perhaps, more eloquently, they'll pat themselves on the back for the relationships registration scheme they got up and running down in Tasmania and claim their work is done.

Churches: Not bound by the Bill to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies but I'm sure they'll have a whinge about it anyway.

So, pragmatically, gay marriage in Australia will still remain a pipe dream, with talk the Bill may not even reach parliamentary committee stage.

Essentially - and I don't like saying this, but it's true - this is another example of Greens legislative grand-standing, introducing a Bill that's lovely in principle but one they must know has little if any chance of succeeding. It's reminiscent of Michael Organ's similarly futile attempt to legislate same-sex couple equality in federal law at the same time as the gay marriage ban was first floated. But if they are sincere in their belief that, if nothing else at least, the Tasmanian Bill may re-spark the debate that Howard quashed on this issue, then I suppose it's worth a shot.

I've already made clear on QP my thoughts on homo marriage. Though I'm not a big advocate of marriage for myself, I am a firm believer in choice, and in allowing same-sex couples the choice of marriage as a means of validating their love and commitment (*note to self: get and keep a boyfriend for longer than 2 months so that the possibility of a Big Fat QueerPenguin Wedding is actually feasible).

Check out the adventures of these lovely boys Luke and Matt and then tell me gay marriage is evil, subversive or contrary to nature. It's not going to bring about the end of civilisation, unless the Netherlands, Belgium, Canada and Massachussetts all had simultaneous locust showers that I didn't read about. But I don't hold my breath for gay marriages happening in Australia for at least another decade.

Guess this will save me a fortune in Bamix, Bodum and Le Creuset wedding gifts...


At 12/4/05 9:39 pm, Blogger Nic White said...

It will happen in John Howards lifetime, dont you worry about that. I guess people will have to be patient but not shut up in the meantime.

At 13/4/05 9:56 am, Blogger Sam said...

Sure hope so Nic. There's nothing more I'd like to have happen than JH having to watch from his death bed the first ever Aussie homo marriage televised, inspiring the final attack of shock that ultimately finishes him off.

OK, perhaps that's a little harsh. But that image is so clear in my head, dammit!


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