My view that there is no such thing as heterosexual, lesbian or homosexual relationships. There are only relationships.
I was at the university of Tasmania last week and made my views on the subject publically known to those that attended.
I find the same sex marriage debate or as I like to term it - marriage equality - frustrating on two fronts, one is religious and the other political.
I was born a catholic but choose to no longer practice, in fact I find the whole church as an institution pretty hard to take. As a person who spent the first six years of school having religion forced upon me I still cannot accept the arguments from Christian groups in support of their position.
How does the Christian faith condemn marriage equality while continuing to defend the monsters that exist within their own ranks. They say marriage equality undermines the rights of children but defend and hide those that most undermine the security and wellbeing of our children. The conflict in their position could hardly be more stark.
Does the marriage of a heterosexual couple demand higher “rights” than the overriding concept of equality for all? How does heterosexual marriage have more importance than that between two people of the same sex, other than for some bazar historic reasons? Marriage should be based on love and respect, irrespective of gender.
The percentage of heterosexual marriages that end in separation or divorce continues to grow. The number of people that participate in traditional Christian religions continue to fall. I think Christian churches are out of touch with the modern community. It time for them to wake up to themselves.
On the political front the ALP federal representatives in Tasmania continue to be split on the issue.
Notably, Senators Helen Polley and Catryna Bilyk (and perhaps others) oppose marriage equality but continue to receive the support of the broader party to represent us in Canberra.
The Tasmanian ALP has a firm policy position which supports marriage equality, endorsed again at the 2011 ALP StateConference.
Why do the Senators continue to receive the support of Tasmanian ALP members when they fail to comply with the wishes of the majority of party members on this issue?
In recent months the factions cut a deal which resulted in Senator Bilyk holding on to the number two position on the Senate ticket, a safe position.
While I know this outcome does not have the support of the majority of Left members, it is the position of the few that control the faction. What this means in affect is that members of the Left faction, who overwhelmingly have the votes to control preselections and support marriage equality, continue to support a Senator (or two) that oppose marriage equality where it matters most, in Canberra.
Why did this happen. Elected politicians have a an inbuilt “protection” mentality where they protect each other irrespective of policy position. “You don’t attack my spot and I won’t attack yours” it’s all very comfy.
What is it with the ALP that we allow politicians once elected to have a “right” to hold their seat until they are ready to give it up, even if they do not reflect the wishes of the majority of the party, or the broader community for that matter.
The Left in Tasmania has an opportunity to make sure we maximise our influence on the marriage equality issue by demanding that our federal politicians represent the interests of the Tasmanian party membership in Canberra. That is support marriage equality, or stand aside.
The question is, will we have the courage to make sure it happens?