The chances of same-sex marriage in Australia: @burgewords comments

Michael Burge

Michael Burge

Journalist at No Fibs
Michael is an author and journalist who lives on Ngarabal country in the NSW Northern Tablelands. He was was born at Inverell into a farming family with New England roots deeper than most, and lived within weatherboard walls under an iron roof for long enough to know what he's talking about when it comes to the country.
Michael Burge
- 7 hours ago
Michael Burge
Michael's articles about writers, performers, artists, creative rebels and the writing process are available at his website.
LNP senator Sue Boyce crossed the floor to vote.

LNP senator Sue Boyce crossed the floor to vote. ABC

Supporters of marriage equality in Australia would have been forgiven for thinking the issue was dead in the water under the 43rd Parliament.

We endured Tony Abbott’s predictable religious opposition. We winced at Julia Gillard’s incomprehensible atheist mantra against relationship freedom. We shed tears as Penny Wong assured us of a more enlightened tomorrow.

Then something happened which nobody predicted. Kevin Rudd, with one cogent blog post, became the highest-profile Australian politician, and christian, to get behind marriage equality.

Before he was reinstated as Prime Minister, this news remained a hopeful anecdote. Now it’s fast becoming the point of difference which may wedge Rudd into a win at the ballot box.

Galaxy polling from last weekend indicates 11 per cent of polled Coalition voters would back Kevin Rudd and Labor at the election, based on his support for same-sex marriage.

So, what are the chances of marriage equality under the 44th Parliament?

In November 2011, at the ALP National conference, two things happened which defined the marriage equality credentials of the ALP. Support for same-sex marriage was adopted, but also a subsequent motion allowing Labor ministers a conscience vote should a bill come before parliament.

This double-edged sword was wielded in 2012, when the Government voted on marriage equality with their consciences, while the Opposition voted with Tony Abbott’s. The bill to amend the Marriage Act was resoundingly, and predictably, lost.

The ALP’s conscience vote on same-sex marriage cannot be changed at party level before their 2014 national conference, which is why Rudd’s new front bench is busy saying Tony Abbott’s grip on his ministers’ views is heavy-handed.

So let’s look at Abbott’s stance. Despite the coming-out of his lesbian sister Christine Forster, Tony Abbott has remained unconvinced by her deeply held desire to see equality in her country, let alone within her own family.

The Abbott daughters talked about Dad’s outmoded opposition to it, and Christopher Pyne subsequently made suggestions that the Coalition party room would have no commitment for or against marriage equality, after the election.

Progressive voters, quite rightly, saw these as so many dangling carrots. When pressed, Abbott dismissed the suggestion there was a need to define marriage equality as an important issue for a potential Coalition Government, citing how close his views were to Prime Minister Gillard’s.

Marriage equality never had less of a chance in Australia, until Rudd’s backflip.

Most of the religious themes of his blog post were lost on me. As someone who gave a live submission to the Human Rights Commission’s 2006 Same Sex: Same Entitlements hearing, which was used by Rudd and his first cabinet to remove almost 100 pieces of legislation discriminating against same-sex couples, I knew he’d long had all he needed to understand that the case for same-sex marriage was already a human rights no-brainer.

But it wasn’t what he wrote which held my attention, it was what he said at press conferences, stating a desire to end the “unnecessary angst” amongst a large proportion of the community.

It’s an interesting word, angst, but it’s a great description of the stasis an increasing number of same-sex couples endure while we wait for our leaders to sort out marriage equality.

We are encouraged into joint financial commitments, and all the customs and commitment inherent in extended family life, yet we are denied access to the fundamental legal and symbolic bedrock of loving relationships, if we find we want or need one.

It does give you angst to know that if something happened to your partner, through death or incapacitation, even a distant relative could make a case for financial gain, while you are left chasing statutory declarations warranting what a simple marriage certificate could.

It does give you anxiety to know that holding hands in public is still considered by some to be a political act, knowing that we should have secured marriage equality long ago in order to start the real work: changing hearts and minds, under the protection of full equality enshrined in law.

Kevin also did something which added to my confidence in him on this issue. He stood up to his sister.

Loree Rudd, of Nambour, Queensland, infamously ditched her ALP membership in 2011 when the party adopted same-sex marriage. She’s since renewed it, for obvious reasons, but her brother told her about his change of heart on the issue the night before he made it public.

If he explained it to her the same way as he explained it to us, I imagine Kevin reminded Loree that Australia is a secular nation in which religious conviction is secondary to social reform. That realisation, matched with his vocal reassurances to Australia’s same-sex community, is what you call leadership by any definition.

Newly minted Prime Minister Rudd and his Deputy Anthony Albanese have since affirmed their commitment to making marriage equality a reality in Australia, even suggesting alternatives if the Coalition remains unchanged in its opposition to conscience voting.

Despite many in its ranks making their support for marriage equality public, including self-proclaimed preferred Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull, and Senator Sue Boyce’s decision to cross the floor and vote for it, Tony Abbott and the Coalition remain locked into opposition to same-sex marriage in Australia.

A clear choice has presented itself where there so recently was none.


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Comments

  1. J.Fraser says

    The Secular Party appears to have some “grandiose” ideas.

    I have yet to look closely though.

    Very, very wary of taking away my first preference vote from Labor because of the terrifying “Slick” Abbott.


    • If human rights are grandiose, then I’m grandiose, but I’m also waiting to see who The Greens preference in my electorate too …

      • J.Fraser says

        Depends who is running the political party, who its members are and who is funding it as to whether it has “grandiose” ideas and whether those ideas will come to fruition.

        Some people think “Right to Life” means Mothers have the right to say what happens to their own bodies.

        Plenty of wolves in sheeps wool …… some people gave money to “Australians for Honest Politics”.

        And that particular wolf is still knocking at the door.

  2. Trevor Minlaton says

    The thing that makes it hardest for me to support same-sex marriage is the words of its most strident proponents. Marriage is a contract between two people. It has nothing to do with love – if you don’t believe me, go and read the Act. Over a long period of time the ‘value’ of the marriage contract has been reduced to zero – there is basically nothing that a couple gain by virtue of being married that they can’t obtain without being married (I’m speaking legally here).

    So any attempt at emotive blackmail, like the suggestion that people can’t love each other if they’re not allowed to get married is just that – emotive blackmail. Indeed the whole “we should be able to get married because we love each other” argument is what directly leads to counter arguments about polygamy and bestiality. Fighting stupid with stupid.

    Much of what I hear and read in favour of same-sex marriage is actually much more to do with the wedding rather than the marriage. This is really the nub of the problem, because it suggests the main push for same-sex marriage is that it enables couples to see themselves as ‘legitimate’. That this should be an issue is, for me, where the attention should be devoted. In this day and age, same-sex couples should not feel like they need access to a form of legal contract to legitimise their relationship.

    Then there’s the whole equality thing. Marriage is a legal device. It’s nothing to do with nature or human rights. It is a promise people make to each other that most will never keep. So how does the equality issue arise? Are children being discriminated against because they’re not allowed to get married? Is it unfair that I’m not allowed to marry my sister? Sure that latter proscription came into being because people observed that inbreeding had some serious consequences – but with today’s genetic screening and donor participants, surely that is no longer a barrier?

    And finally there comes the issue of children. This is the area where I do have concerns because a demand for marriage ‘equality’ is usually accompanied by or followed with a demand for rights to have children. Its one thing to adopt an orphan or a child put up for adoption and provide them what they cannot otherwise have. It’s quite another to create children to satisfy a market demand. In reality this, for the first time, creates a market for children. We probably all remember Penny Wong’s impassioned QA tete-a-tete with Joe Hockey on that topic. It’s easy to support her case – that is until you realise that the flipside of what she’s saying is that biology is irrelevant.

    So, do I support same-sex marriage? It is of no consequence to me.
    Would I campaign against it? No
    Would I campaign for it? No
    Do I think there is any merit to the marriage equality argument?: Not a jot
    Do I support provision of IVF and other technologies to enable same-sex couples to have children? No
    Do I support provision of IVF and other technologies to enable medically infertile couples to have children? No
    Am I married?: Yes
    Is it love or law that keeps my marriage together?: love

    So what’s my message? By all means campaign for same-sex marriage. Do it on the basis that you want it, not because you’re entitled to it. More importantly, figure out why you want it and fix that instead.


    • Same sex marriage was campaigned-for because two men who love one another wanted to marry, in 2004. It was, and remains, wanted.

      The Commonwealth Marriage Act did not specify the gender of the parties to a marriage contract at that time, but the application of these two men triggered the Howard Government into amending the legislation to exclude people of the same gender.

      That meant we could only campaign for it on the basis of our entitlement – the Government excluded what we wanted.

      We haven’t stopped loving our partners, and we all know why we want it – for the same reasons as you would, Trev, if you were excluded from marrying your loved one for no cogent reason whatsoever.

      • J.Fraser says

        @Michael

        The evolution of one’s thought processes will continue regardless of law or prejudices.

        Sadly Australia sometimes takes a little longer to get there.

      • Trevor Minlaton says

        Well I’m the wrong person to be talking to about marriage. Marriage has been through many evolutions and has been progressively devalued over time – once upon a time single women, unmarried couples, birth outside wedlock, were all heinous things. Just as we heterosexuals are getting away from all the historical hangups to do with marriage, homosexual couples are trying to get in!

        Clearly the fact that I am married is going to weaken my argument in your eyes but the fact of the matter is, I didn’t have to get married to prove to my partner that I loved her. I didn’t have to get married to prove to her or my family that I loved her and I certainly had no interest in proving it to anyone else.

        As for your comment “That meant we could only campaign for it on the basis of our entitlement – the Government excluded what we wanted” – my whole point is that only the law provides the entitlement – there is no other basis than want. If you want it, then campaign for it on that basis. Personally I think you’re barking up the wrong tree.


      • Trev you’re assuming that same sex couples want to emulate marriage as you define it.

        Perhaps some of us would like the Frida Kahlo/Diego Rivera model (hotly emulated by Tim Burton and Helena Bonham-Carter). Perhaps some would like to marry like the Windsor family? Perhaps some of us don’t want to marry at all but have friend who do?

        Perhaps some of us would like a marriage like yours (although I don’t think I’d relish the attitude that assumes your arguments are unassailable).

        Perhaps I don’t want to marry to prove my love for my current partner. Read my piece again: I want marriage as a legal institution, based on a previous experience of disenfranchisement, in fact I need it in order to live without angst. De-facto law was not strong enough to protect me in the past.

        You seem to have no idea what it is to prove your marriage (your love) exists in the absence of one of you, that you and your wife “forsake all others”.

        You’re lucky, you have a marriage certificate.

        A nice thing to do, when we realise we are lucky, is to share that with others.

        Willing to share, Trev, or just greedy?


      • Marriage as I am discussing is as defined in the marriage act. “Forsake all others” suggests you’re talking about a religious version of the ceremony.

        As for my willingness to share as you put it, you will note that I am not raising any objection to same-sex marriage per se. I am saying that I don’t accept many of the arguments raised in favour of it.

        As for luck, I am lucky to have my partner. The marriage certificate is entirely incidental to that.


      • Trevor Mnlaton, you say you don’t have to get married to prove you love your wife. Quite right, but you ARE married and you also had every expectation that you could get married if you so desired. And that’s what same sex couples would like-to be able to marry if that’s what they desire.

        Marriage is a contract between two people, so why are gay people excluded from signing that contract?

      • Trevor Minlaton says

        Firstly, I’d like you to read everything I’ve posted and satisfy yourself that I do not oppose same-sex marriage. I just have trouble with some of the arguments used to demand it. Yes I am married. I never had any desire to be married as such but I did have a desire to live my life with my partner. It was 30 years ago and even then, it was easier to get married than not. Which is to say it was the ‘done thing’. So there you go, I got married to meet other people’s expectations. With the benefit of hindsight, not a good reason to do so. Nevertheless, our relationship hasn’t suffered from it, so who am I to complain?

        Now, if I had been precluded by law from spending with my life with my partner, that would have been a very different matter for me and I have always been accepting of and supportive of the decriminalisation of same-sex relationships and breaking down the social stigma that went with it.

        But coming back to the contract bit – it is a contract. You have to meet certain requirements for the contract to have legal force. Presently a same-sex couple doesn’t meet the criteria. Its not like the Marriage Act says everyone is entitled to get married except same-sex couples. So, technically you are not precluded – in the same way that I’m not precluded from competing in the Olympics – I just don’t meet the requirements to do so.

        Now, before you conclude that I’m just making dogmatic distinctions for the sake of argument, my point really is that you cant get what you want by calling for the wrong thing. Let me give you an example: Every year statistics are released which show that women get paid less than men on average – 17% last time. So every you there are hands up in the air saying how terrible it is that women get paid 17% less than men for the same work and processes and reporting requirements are instituted to do something about it. However, what the statistics show is actually that the average woman works in a lower paying job than the average man. Still a problem but a problem with a very different solution. You can’t solve actually solve this problem simply by paying men and women the same for doing the same work.

        This is not a rhetorical diversion on my part – I’m just giving you an example of how a large cohort of activists and politicians can get locked into an ideological framework which is incapable of solving the problem they seek to address. By doing so they actually mis-spend the political capital they have and thus make it harder to solve the real problem.

    • J.Fraser says

      @Trevor

      But you are using “emotive blackmail” by refusing others that which you have or could have provided nothing changed from the way it is today.

      Why did you bother getting married if you don’t believe in it.

      Why would you want to deny others what technology has to offer.

      By the way I am using technology to ask you these questions … without it no one would be better off.

      Does that ring any bells ?


      • I’m not refusing anyone anything. I have opinions as you do. The use and availability of technology is always challenging ethical boundaries. We have the technology to implement the vision of “a brave new world” where babies are centrally produced, conditioned and provided to parents. That doesn’t mean we should use it for that purpose.


      • Oh Trev, if a man ever asks you to marry him, just say no.


    • There are legal circumstances where a marriage certificate is required, actually. For example, I am Australian and my partner is a dual US/Aus citizen. Should we decide to move back to the US to be with her family, my application for a Green card (which I can now get, thanks Supreme Court!) would be denied if we didn’t have a marriage certificate as de facto relationship are not accepted as the basis for immigration.

      This means that if we want to do this in the future, we’d have to shell out the cash to go somewhere where we can get married first, away from our Aussie relatives, which not everyone can afford. I imagine that we are not the only dual citizens/internationally inclined couples who are in the same situation!

      • Trevor Minlaton says

        Ok, thanks, I wasn’t aware of that (even though it seems more of a problem with US law than ours).

        Marcus commented below (I don’t seem to be able to reply to that) about de-facto relationships suggesting that de-facto same-sex couples didn’t have the same rights as hetero de-factos. I’d like to know more about that as I thought the last of those issues had been dealt with.


  3. Australia, unfortunately will always remain a hotbed of bigots. Especially while we give more rights to religious institutions than we do our own citizens.
    There are several things that need to change before we can get same-sex marriage in this country. One, is the AFL/VFL, hoodlum, feral Aussie attitude of the men over here. There is a neanderthal side to Australian men that is quite strong. A cultural belief that to be a man, is to bonk a sheila, get drunk and watch the footy. In no particular order.

    Culturally, this country has a lot of growing up to do. It needs to start with the politicians. Then the rest of the country has to drop the macho Aussie rubbish. Then the men of this country need to become comfortable with affection. Ever seen an Italian man meet an Aussie male? It’s an awkward affair with the hugging and kissing.

    Then after that, Australia might just be mature enough to be able to handle the fact that two men or two women might love each other enough to want to hold hands while walking down the street, kiss each other in a supermarket or, shock horror, get married.

    I fear, though, that the gay and lesbian population of Australia, might be best off ditching this hole of ferals and moving to countries that are far more liberal. Belgium is lovely, you never have to fear being stared at or beaten up for showing affection there.

    • Trevor Minlaton says

      One of the characteristics of a liberal view is that you don’t label people as being wrong simply because they disagree with you or value different things. Being stared at or beaten up for walking down the street with your partner is certainly not a sign of liberal attitudes – but then neither is telling those people they are inferior for behaving that way. It’s hardly realistic or reasonable to expect others to accept you if you can’t accept them.

      In other words, a society is not liberal because its comfortable with the same things you are but because its comfortable with difference.


      • Dear Trevor,
        two questions, why did you get married when it was obviously not necessary?
        And how would you feel if you were forbidden by law to do so?


      • Your question makes no sense. Marriage is enabled by law. It does not exist outside law and therefore cannot be forbidden by law

      • Not Trev says

        So answer the question Trev- how would you feel if the law did not recognise your relationship as marriage?


    • All true Richard … I swing from a sense of uselessness to a sense of hope about marriage equality here in Oz, which is what prompted me to write this piece.

      There is great acceptance from my generation, and younger people. They have family and friends who have come out, and expect to see their loved-ones happily coupled and committed to one another, to the degree that the support for marriage equality in the community is now the majority, sitting as it does in the high 60 percent range depending on the polling.

      As per usual, the Parliament is lagging behind the community, but don’t you love that pic of Senator Sue Boyce crossing the floor? Christine Milne’s face in the middle distance is priceless, because this was a tipping-point in the Parliament’s evolution on marriage equality, and Milne’s focus is squarely on Boyce’s action.

      Boyce showed her party what a conscience looks like.


  4. There were two questions Trev, both of which you carefully avoided answering…
    Your point (?) is what makes no sense, “enabled by law”, “existing within” but “cannot be forbidden by”… What a crock Trev!
    So, another question for you… What is it that prevents me from marrying my male partner in this country?
    I’ll answer that for you as you seem incapable… THE LAW!
    And if you want to weigh into this argument you need to be prepared to answer relevant questions or risk having no credibility whatsoever.

    • Trevor Minlaton says

      I answered both of these questions in another post but in summary:

      Firstly, I got married because 30 years ago it was easier to do that than not. I had no ambition to be married. What I wanted to do was live my life with my partner.

      So, if I was prevented by law from marrying my partner – well actually that would have been water off a duck’s back.
      If I was prevented by law from living with my partner that would have been a very different matter, This is not the situation you face.

      As for my comments about the law that frustrate you, I repeat that the law creates the institution of marriage. Marriage is not a fundamental human right or a naturally occurring thing which the law seeks to limit or curtail. In your case, the law does not enable you to get married. While the practical effect may be the same from your perspective, its not the same as being prevented by law from getting married.

      My question back at you is: if tomorrow you could get married, how would your life be different?


      • Trevor, I don’t think you have the capacity to understand where I’m coming from.

        IT’S ALL ABOUT EQUALITY! IN EVERYTHING!!!

        You misunderstand me also, I’m not frustrated, I’m disappointed and disgusted by inequality and the ignorance that generates and supports it in all forms. This one happens to pertain to me.
        As a (supposedly) heterosexual man I don’t imagine that you could ever hope to understand how important the ending of this discrimination WILL be. While the law as you say “does not enable you to get married”, it DOES prevent me from getting married. This is a fact and however you argue, it’s still a fact.

        Can I, by law get married in Australia?

        In answer to your question, if I was allowed to marry my partner tomorrow I would be more confident to be openly affectionate in public knowing that one BIG measure of acceptance had been given to us. And, be so happy in the knowledge that young men and women growing up with self doubt and loathing due to their sexuality will have one less reason to hide away. So in fact it’s not just about making my life different, it’s about enacting change to benefit others too.

        It won’t happen overnight sadly, but it will happen. So get out of the way…

      • Trevor Minlaton says

        Richard,

        Firstly, I reiterate that I’m not in your way. I’m a heterosexual man having a respectful discussion or argument with you and others who are presumably homosexual. I’m not abusing you, I’m sharing my opinion that what you’re chasing won’t give you what you’re looking for. I’m not protesting on the streets against same-sex marriage, writing letters to the editor or talking to politicians.

        Whether or not I can fully appreciate your view toward discrimination I’m not qualified to judge.

        I thank you for answering my question. As I had the temerity to advise in an earlier post, work out what you really want and fix that. You have identified marriage as something you feel you need to achieve acceptance. IMHO, it won’t make any difference. The people that don’t accept same-sex relationships now aren’t going to change their mind because you can get a marriage certificate and those that accept same-sex relationships aren’t going to care one way or the other. You can’t legislate acceptance but you can demonstrate acceptability. But also, you have to let go of the expectation of prejudice yourself – what I mean by this is that a lot of people, particularly the older generation, have a problem with open displays of public affection full stop. If you assume that someone is not comfortable with your public display of affection only because you’re gay, then you may be doing them a disservice.

        As for loudly campaigning about the injustice of it all, are you actually making it easier for young men and women growing up or are you creating expectations of not being accepted? This is not supposed to be an insult or barb but a genuine question – there is a balance to be had. I remember the horror I experienced when I realised my daughter had an expectation that she was going to be paid less as a female – some of the feminist rhetoric actually creates an expectation of inequality which is entirely counter productive.


      • No one is asking to legislate acceptance, Trevor.

        What they are asking is to legislate is those exact same legal rights that heterosexual married and even de facto couples have and take for granted, but which long term same-sex couples are currently denied. That inequity needs to be fixed.

        I doubt you could disagree that is injustice.


  5. Great to see others weighing into the debate.

    To bring things temporarily back to the point of my piece, about the chances of marriage equality in our 44th Parliament, I think Trevor’s hit on another solution!

    If we were to forget about repealing the Marriage Amendment Act (2004) which expressly prevents two people of the same gender to make application for a marriage, and simply repeal the entire Marriage Act (1961), which, if my maths is correct, Trevor and his wife were married under, then we WOULD achieve marriage equality in our country, in that instead of some people being permitted to marry under the Act, nobody would be able to.

    Equality in another form, I suppose? Trev won’t complain, he’s already said it’d be water off a duck’s back.

    • Trevor Minlaton says

      Works for me.


      • A-ha, I’ve worked it out, Trevor’s actually opposed to marriage, except, perhaps, for his own.

        I’d like to know what Mrs. Minlaton thinks and feels about her husband’s views about their marriage.

        For example, if it works for her husband to have their marriage annulled by repealing the Marriage Act (1961), does it work for her?

      • Trevor Minlaton says

        OK, you want to be sarcy. You don’t need me for that.


  6. We actually don’t need you for ANYTHING Trevor. So as I said before just get out of the way…

    • Trevor Minlaton says

      If me not agreeing with you unconditionally means I’m in your way, then so be it.

      If your aim is simply to rail against injustice then certainly you don’t need me or others or even injustice – but that will get you nothing other than anger – your own and that of others.

      If you want to achieve change, however, you do need to understand something about the people who don’t agree with you. It takes a lot more than telling people they’re wrong to get them onside. And you do need them to be onside.


      • Actually, Trevor, with the polls being the way they are on marriage equality, Richard is correct about not needing you to be onside.

        He’s at liberty to remain as passionate about the issue as he likes, for marriage equality is inevitable. Given your mourning in these comments on the de-valuing of the marriage contract, you’ve shown us you’re at least partially complete on your personal journey to being quite resigned to marriage equality.

        Age and death are removing the bulk of older generations’ opposition to marriage equality, every day. Political backflips like Rudd’s, O’Farrell’s, Cameron’s and Obama’s are taking care of another chunk of naysayers. The most interesting of all – the religious backflips – pop up with heartening frequency.

        Getting back to the point of my piece – it took only one high profile politician to change his mind for the odds for same sex marriage to go from zero to pretty firm in this country, given enough political leadership. Right now, we’d only need the Governor General’s support on marriage equality to get any higher political kudos, but since her boss signed marriage equality into law in the UK yesterday, then I guess the Queen’s representative in Australia has a general line to tow on the matter? The chances are looking pretty good that the likes of Richard don’t need to give your musings a second thought.

        It’s testament to our humanity that we try to explain to the likes of you. It’s also symptomatic of our oppression.

        Say you were privileged enough to be party to the meeting between Rudd and his former staffer, a gay man who finally managed to explain the personal costs of marriage inequality (no doubt using many of the arguments you remain unconvinced of) to a staunch anti marriage equality christian like Mr Rudd was at the time, would Mr Rudd have been swayed out of his courageous change of heart by any of your theorising on the issue?

        I think it’s time you asked yourself that kind of question, and then ponder whether your debate about inequality is part of the solution, or just a really boring part of the problem?

        And I think you’ve some overdue homework on serious (in no way sarky) questions I posed for Mrs Minlaton. Tell you what, if you get some answers from her, you can pose any question to me for my husband, and I’ll get back to you with his answers. Or should I say my New-Zealand-civilly-unioned-de-facto-in-Australia-spouse-but-able-to-be-upgraded-to-marriage-in-New-Zealand-now-with-a-registrar’s-sign-off-if-we-travel-to-NZ-and-pay-for-it-but-still-not-legally-recognised-in-Australia, just to be legally correct, and to give you an idea of the explaining required should I need to impart to someone in an emergency who this man is to me when they simply don’t accept my emotional truth on the matter.

        It’s happened to me already, Trevor, and that is why I am even bothering to communicate it now.

      • Trevor Minlaton says

        Thank you Michael, I do appreciate your thoughtful post.

        To be clear on a couple of things:
        ~ I wouldn’t have been attempting to sway Mr Rudd’s ‘decision’, nor would I rely on his ‘change of heart’ to be genuine, but that’s another matter.
        ~ With respect to ‘sarky’ I meant the comment about me opposing marriages other than my own, not the questions you posed for my wife. I got married for her not for me, so it stands to reason she has a different view than I on the matter
        ~ I have not mourned the devaluing of marriage, I have observed that it has been devalued and I am glad that is has been devalued as the societal importance it used to have (and to an extent still has) caused a great deal of angst and sorrow for many, while providing nothing that couples can’t have without it (today), US Greencards notwithstanding
        ~ I accept that same-sex marriage is inevitable. I will not be upset if it happens tomorrow
        ~ Same-sex marriage may happen tomorrow BUT it might not happen for another decade – are you going to be angry about that for another decade or are you going to enjoy life to the full, for you cannot do both.


      • Trevor the one word I have never used, or even implied, about the way I feel about marriage inequality, is “anger”.

        But your final point shows the very beginnings of empathy with same sex attracted people, our perspectives on marriage, and our hopes for it.

        You have defined in one sentence the parameters of the angst that Kevin Rudd has said he is genuine about removing. This paradoxical place occupies every shade of grey between anger and enjoyment, and I am living proof that it is possible to exist in here without anger, but with hope. Hope inspired this opinion piece.

        Nicely observed on your part. I can only encourage you to let that empathy grow, even if you didn’t know it was there before now.

        If others define that they are disenfranchised by the Marriage Act Amendment, and you start down the same pathways of refuting all their arguments, please just recall what inspired you to ask me to choose between anger and enjoyment about the delivery of marriage equality, and recall the word “angst” (which comes from the root “anxiety”, not “anger”) … because that is what I will be feeling until marriage equality is delivered.

        Because I cannot, actually, choose between the two while inequality exists.

        If you can take that on board, I am very glad to have debated you here.


  7. Each day in Australia for me, makes New Zealand seem just that little more attractive.