Ever since the ultra catholic nation of Ireland voted in favour of same sex marriage, the media and politicians in Australia have been pushing their rhetoric of same sex marriage. Every day the media have been publishing articles on this issue and the Australian Labor Party are using this to gain some political mileage. Given this, one would think this is the most important issue the Government faces, it appears that the ever increasing government debt, increased pressures on standard of living and the growing threat of terrorism is just a minor blip in this society we live in.
The issue of same sex marriage is contentious, and so it should. Marriage has always been a religious institution between a man and a woman nevertheless the state, (Government) passed the Marriage Act in 1961 and this is where the problem started. In 2004 it was then amended to define marriage as:
Marriage means the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.
Certain unions are not marriages. A union solemnised in a foreign country between: (a) a man and another man; or (b) a woman and another woman; must not be recognised as a marriage in Australia
The problem for the religious right and their argument is that they allowed the state to legislate. When you allow politicians to legislate something on moral issues you can bet your life that future politicians will tweak it to suit the popular vote of the day.
On both sides of politics you have politicians politicising this issue, and this is not fair on those who oppose same sex marriage and it gives false hope for those who support change. As we do live in a democratic nation, the people, for the people, should deal with this issue.
We often hear people say politicians should represent the people who vote for them, and this is true, therefore you should expect politicians in safe conservative seats or politicians in seats, which have an influential number of migrants who have strong religious ties, vote conservatively. Likewise members of parliament in trendy inner city areas whose views lean to the left of the political spectrum would likely to vote in favour of same sex marriage. Given this array of inequality representation of Parliament, it should be put to a national plebiscite vote.
A controversial issue such as same sex marriage should be decided by the people because it is just that, controversial. If the majority of Australian people vote in favour of same sex marriage it will allow those who oppose it some time to accept it without much doubt. At the moment, with a Parliamentary vote we are already seeing some Senators and media personalities saying ‘what about the silent majority?’ A plebiscite vote will alleviate this issue.