I was reading this story this morning online and while the story itself didn't bother me, the comments made in the comment section did. I firmly believe that people have the right to believe what they wish and I respect their right to believe what they wish whether I agree with it or not but it becomes an issue for me when people begin to believe that their religious views should make policy and influence the way a country makes decisions about its laws.
Christians (some) don't believe in gay marriage, older generations feel much the same way and that is perfectly okay, but I don't think it should impact on whether some one gets rights that should naturally be afforded to them. Christians (again not all) say God hates homosexuals. That is one viewpoint, it should never ever be considered or factored in when making policy. A religious view should not have the right to decide some one's rights for them. If it did, we'd all be in very deep hot water - or up that creek without a paddle.
My personal belief is that the bible is an amalgamation of myths and beliefs brought together into one text to provide a basis for a belief system. Originally, as far as I understand it, the bible was written 300 - 400 years after Christ died by Emperor Constantine and a council of Bishops, with some of the gospels left out that didn't serve the purpose of the aforementioned individuals. It leaves what is the word of Jesus open to interpretation. When the bible was written, it was to stamp out heathenism and paganism and bring people round to the Christian way of thinking as Constantine was Christian. It annoys me when the Bible is used as writ, as firm evidence of something. Especially when it is used to infringe upon another's rights.
I am the child of a gay parent. My parents were divorced before I was born (or it might have been just after), and since then, although my mother (who is straight) has been in a long term relationship, she never married again. My father had a civil ceremony with his partner a couple of years ago, and I don't see why it couldn't be marriage. People are getting hung up over the word, apparently 'marriage' is a straight ideal and should stay belonging to the 'heteros' and not be co-opted by the gay community. The thing is I have the right to get married, it is afforded to me by my country, and as a woman, I have every right to marry a man. Thing is, I never intend to get married, it's not something I want, something I have considered nor is it something I dreamed about since I was a little girl. If some one who has that right (like me) has no wish to avail themselves of that right, why can it not go to some one who desperately wants it? Why can't I say to a gay couple "hey I'm not getting married - ever - you can have my right, I don't intend to use it".
The thing is, it's 2013, gay marriage and the right to do so shouldn't even be a question in law, but it concerns me when religious beliefs seem to be the louder voice. Our government talked about something called a 'conscience vote', so if it sits right with your conscience I guess you vote yes. Again, what a ridiculous way to go about something, it shouldn't be a 'conscience vote' for a basic human right. What the hell kind of nonsense is that? New Zealand already has, or is about to, make gay marriage legal across the board, the UK far as I understand will be doing the same thing, I read they're hopeful that gay couples will be able to get married in early 2014. I look to the world today and see things that disturb me. I recently read that Ohio are defunding a whole lot of things like rape crisis centres, abortion clinics, not to mention putting into law what they consider to be 'pregnant' - hint you don't have to be pregnant to be considered pregnant. It's ridiculous and it's also incredibly frightening - although to be fair, our government seems to have given up on wanting to control a woman's body. I think they know if they tried to bring in any laws like that, the country would riot and they would not be in office any longer.
My roots are deep in this country, I had four ancestors on the First Fleet, my blood runs deep within this land and I love being an Australian. But I fear that religous beliefs and illogical thinking will begin to erode the things that make this country great. I want our nation to a beacon for other countries, to show what can happen when natural rights are afforded (I feel like I should say within reason here - excepting murderers, rapists etc) to those who should already have them. Why not have a balanced, happy society? It might seem to be a naive utopian ideal, but something so simple as allowing gay marriage into law as a right for the gay community would go a long way toward it.
And to those who don't like gay marriage, in the words of the wise Whoopi Goldberg - "If you don't like gay marriage then don't marry one."