Marriage Equality

One of the happiest days of my life was my wedding day, and yet there are two niggling points that hang above it.

Point one is that by law we were required to specify that marriage is a heterosexual union as part of our vows, the law is very rigid on this. The wording of the ceremony gives a feeling of unresolvable sadness when I look at my best friend.

“Marriage, according to law in Australia, is the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.”;

Point two is that my best man (and best friend) identifies as a homosexual; As things stand today, I cannot be his best man, and he may not marry his long term partner.

The decision by the US Supreme court will hopefully have a momentum building effect for Australia in that we still deny same sex couples from marriage, our case is even worse though because of the way that our states are governed combined with the wording of our national marriage laws that govern the unions in Australia.

In America, states were free to allow homosexual marriage if they chose to, and many did, the US ruling was about stopping the states that had expressly denied to acknowledge homosexual marriage from withholding this right from citizens.

In Australia, we to have already had legal homosexual marriage legislated in the ACT, this however was overruled by our national marriage act, so the laws in the ACT were overturned.

For my American friends, this is like Washington allowing it and then the US Supreme Court blocking it.

We are still far behind the position of the US even prior to this ruling. Our national law over-rides our state law from allowing and this needs more than just a court ruling, it needs new amendments to our national laws.

So far our parliament has shown itself unable and unwilling to do anything about it without political showboating. Every time a Marriage Equality bill is put forward it never makes it through parliament, there are either enough conservative members to block it, or the law is poorly written and rejected on technicalities.

In my heart I hope that we can overcome this, I dont see it happening for at least another two terms of government (almost a decade I think at least) but I hope that one day we can allow for Homosexual Equality, and one day I can stand proudly next to my best man, at his wedding day, with his husband.