Meet Australian Millie Fontana – Millie was raised by two lesbian Mothers and in the marriage debate we need to listen to her story…Here is a quote from a speech Millie gave at Parliament House.
“The gay community is promoting this ideology that love is love and that we don’t actually need any biological roots at all to be parented well and to be well adjusted and happy. This has been incorrect for me and for many others and the promotion of this ideology has made it difficult for people in my position to come forward and say what is actually going on behind closed doors for us. The lie affects us in so many different ways, we aren’t welcomed to come forward…and say who we are and say that we don’t support marriage equality.”
The Australian public has been promised a national vote on whether we wish to change the definition of marriage, the fundamental building block of our society. In the lead up to this vote, there will be a national conversation about what marriage means.
In order to engage in this discussion, it is important to look at some of the most common questions that arise and provide clear, informed answers about why retaining the current Marriage Act is important, as well as the implications of marriage being redefined. This website, which will be updated regularly, will endeavour to do that.
The most universal and commonly understood concept of marriage equals…
- A relationship with a special link to children;
- A union of spouses;
- A relationship of permanence, monogamy, and exclusivity.
Marriage Equals… A Relationship with a Special Link to Children
The male-female pair bond is something inherent in nature, not something invented by society. The social customs and laws surrounding marriage are society’s best effort to reinforce this natural reality, to help build up the loyalty of the man and woman to their mate, and to their children.
While not every marriage bears biological children, every child has a biological mother and father, without exception! Suggesting that childless marriages go against this definition of marriage is a distraction, and has nothing to do with the purpose of marriage.
Marriage exists to unite a man and a woman as husband and wife, and as father and mother to any children their union might produce. Marriage is based on the anthropological truth that men and women are distinct and complementary. It is based on the biological fact that reproduction requires a man and a woman. And it is based on the human right of children to know and be cared for by their mother and father.
Marriage Equals… A Union of Spouses
Love is a wonderful thing, but love on its own is not sufficient to make a relationship marriage. Love on its own does not provide a government with any reason to be involved in that relationship through legislation.
The government does not forbid couples of the same-sex or otherwise from publicly declaring their commitment in civil ceremonies. In fact in Australia, despite alarmist claims to the contrary, same-sex couples and de-facto couples are protected when it comes to tax law, protection of income, insurance, and even adoption. Many Australian states and territories have introduced measures to provide public recognition of the loving relationship between same-sex couples, affording many of the same legal entitlements available to married couples. And in 2009, the Australian Federal Government amended 85 Commonwealth laws which the Australian Human Rights Commission considered discriminated against same-sex couples and families.
Any further inequalities can (and should) be dealt with through further legislation. A redefinition of marriage is not necessary.
The Government does not legislate marriage in order to honour the love between two people. Many types of relationships are based on love – good relationships which benefit society. But it does not follow that a relationship based on love is the same as a “marriage.”
Marriage Equals… Permanence, Monogamy, and Exclusivity
Any romantic relationship has the ideal notion of being permanent, monogamous and exclusive. A relationship doesn’t have to be marriage for these principles to apply.
What makes marriage different is the protection of children. The need for permanence, monogamy, and exclusivity deepens and extends when children are involved, because children have a right to be raised by their biological mother and father .
As same-sex relationships cannot produce a child who is biologically connected to both parties, there is no legal reason why the Government needs to be involved in recognising in law its permanence, monogamy and exclusivity, however desirable. This is a personal matter for the couple, and not a matter for the law.
So Why Does the Government Care About Marriage?
While there is no question that same-sex couples can provide stability and security, they can never provide a permanent link to a child’s biological roots, a right that is recognised internationally. These rights cannot be ignored, and the Australian Government should not legislate to promote as a matter of policy, a situation where these rights will continue to be breached.
“The State supports marriage because children may result from it. The State lacks a reason to legislate to promote relationships that do not produce children.” (Rod Benson et al. http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2011/05/20/3222067.htm)
Marriage Equals… One Man and One Woman, For Life
We hope that this website will assist you with the information and resources needed to answer your questions about the meaning of marriage, and why Australia’s Federal Government should not redefine the word “marriage” as legally recognised in Australia’s Marriage Act (1961).