This is an article supporting same sex marriage in Australia. The paper will also focus on power relations and gender performances. Marriage equality is top on the list as one of the vital issues in Australia now. The paper will therefore focus on the views about same sex marriage in Australia and potential measures that has been taken in attempt to support gay marriage. On the other hand, the empowerment as seen in different genders in relation to their performances will be analyzed in details. For instance, one of the key issues will be on how women’s economic empowerment offers them a better opportunity to exploit the other partner regardless of them having same sex.
Same sex marriage is a recognized marriage between two individuals of the same sex. Same sex marriage, commonly known as gay marriage, is prohibited in Australia. The laws governing marriage in Australia recognizes the marriage between a man and a woman, which is not a good idea. In the same breadth, the laws are very categorical that any couples of the same sex moving in Australia are not recognized as married (Edward, 2008, p 113). In the past, many bills have come on surface in an attempt to approve same sex marriages without success. In the wake of many nations allowing same sex marriages, the government of Australia has adamantly refused to support this idea.
In the recent statistics carried out in Australia, 60% of the total population support legalization of same sex marriages, compared to 40% of the total population who do not support the same. In the same study, majority of those supporting the same are Catholics, with only handfuls who are Protestants (Hull, 2006, p 23). There are however many reasons why same sex marriages should be given a chance as there are nothing wrong with them.
Power relations and gender performances have become a cause for disagreement in same sex marriages. The sharing of responsibilities in a gay marriage is becoming extremely difficult. In Australian society, studies indicates that, while there were so many cases of couples separating in a normal marriage setting, there has been few cases in the number of separation of same sex marriages. The root cause has been established as misunderstanding in sharing of power, which is mostly affecting the normal marriages.
To begin with, studies that have been carried out in Australia on same sex marriages indicate that, being gay is a choice, which is supported by many citizens saying that it should be respected. Although many factors have been mentioned as the causative agents of gay marriages, they are yet to be proved. Some of the well-known factors include family background, peer pressure, the sexual nature of a person, sexual experiences both voluntary and involuntary, and influence more so by technology and lastly an individual’s choice (Merin, 2002, p 212). The above-mentioned factors should not count anywhere in making of a decision whether to be gay or not. The notion that has been there that same sex marriages, are putting the future generation at risk should not be taken seriously. This new trend should be given rights just like any other group out there.
Considering the fact that, there is nothing wrong with gay marriage; organizations are being established to fight for the rights of the gay people. This has proven to offer strict opposition to the government. This is in form of introduction of bills for marriage equality to the Senate (Hull, 2006, p 169). This has proved very difficult, owing to the fact that, the bill does not receive the required number of legislators to warrant it to be effected. However, although the government has refused to pass these bills, gay community continues to receive more support from some of the churches in Australia. As a result, more teenagers have embraced same sex marriages and they are practicing it. They too have seen nothing wrong with it.
In a recent study sponsored by the Australian authority in the year 2010, it was found out that, the development of technology has greatly contributed to the rise in same sex marriages. This is because websites for gay people have been established (McDonald, 1999, p 175). These sites have made it easier for gay people to interact and start relationships. This has come as good news to the gay community as more people have joined them. Technology has proved to act in the favor of gay marriages in Australia and this is making it easy for them to gain popularity and more followers, thanks to technology.
In the wake of gay marriages, power relations, and gender performances has equally risen up. Although this has become the cause of disagreement in these marriages, gay people are able to sort out their problems. For a normal couple, the husband is known to be the head thus signifying that he has more power than the wife does. As for gay relationships, it is easy to establish who the husband is and who the wife is. However, they organize themselves in such a way that there is one who exhibits manly duties thus making them the head (Merin, 2002, p 312). This makes them in charge or to have more powers than the other. Although this is the case, some couples decide that no one is more superior to the other. The fact that they are of the same gender justifies that.
The issue of gender performance has moved from bad to worse with an increase of many couples moving to marriage experts in Australia to seek help. What has shocked many in Australia is that, while it might appear strange, gay marriages acknowledge the aspect of husband and wife. Because of this, they too follow the same trend whereby they each take respective roles. For example if the couple comprises of women, the woman who takes the manly role has to do everything like a man. This is also evident if the couple comprises of two men. The performance of the marriage as a unit in the Australian society has greatly improved as gay marriages are improving daily more than normal marriages (Edward, 2008, p 133). As a result, many people in Australian have over time changed their perception about gay marriages.
Since 2004, the marriage act in Australia has had it that, marriage is only between a man and a woman, I completely disagree with that. According to the Australian law, same sex marriages are not recognized (Edward, 2008, p 147). Although there is a disposition that gay marriages are a threat to continuity of life, it should not be taken seriously. The gay marriages have not only played a role in strengthening marriage set up but they have also improved it. This among many other reasons is should be taken into consideration and serve as a wake up call for the government in Australia to allow gay marriages.
Something worthy noting is that, while the laws in Australia do not support same sex marriage, there are those who strongly feel that, same sex marriage should be given a chance to blossom in Australia. In support of this, a bill was presented in the Senate in the year 2006. Its aim was to reverse the marriage amendment bill in 2004 (Newton, 2009, p 202). It would have provided equal status, treatment, and recognition for all the gay couples. They would no longer be discriminated against once it was passed. Unfortunately, it was stalled or rather put on hold. Currently it is on parliament’s bill lists. Same sexes as well as heterosexual couples were not recognized. Australia has definitely remained concrete on its war on same sex marriages (Edward, 2008, p 444). Due to this, the gay community in Australia has not only been excommunicated from the society but also remained underground to avoid being apprehended by the authority.
As if not ready to give up, a similar bill pushing for recognition of gay marriages in Australia re-surfaced in 2008. This was a back up of the previous one. Unfortunately, it suffered the same fate as that of 2006. After sometime, another bill called the Marriage Equality Amendment Bill was introduced in 2009. It vied for marriage rights for same sex couples. It would remove all discriminatory references based on sexuality and gender identity. This would allow marriages regardless of sex, gender, and sexuality. The report for this was negative and this led to demonstrations. Though mass demonstrations were held, the Senate rejected the bill.
The rift between those supporting gay marriage and those against it has been there for quite sometime now. Since 1961, the fight for and against gay marriages has never ended. Up to now, it is continuing showing that it is not an issue to be undermined. Bills have been introduced but have not yet passed the second stage yet in parliament. They are still on Australian parliament’s current bill lists. With the number of gay marriages supporters, the Australian government has received a big challenge (McDonald, 1999, p 267). It is being pushed from all ends. In a recent study, statistics show that a good number of citizens are in support of gay marriages. The number has grown steadily. The gay people are about to have their dream come true which is to be recognized by the government. They want their marriages to be treated equally as the other ordinary marriage between a man and woman. The power then lies on the Australian government whether it is going to allow it or not.
As pressure continue amounting on the Australian government to legalize gay marriages, effects for this continues to be seen. The gay community has in the past-organized protests fighting for their rights as human beings besides demands to be recognized. They were right to push for their rights, as other people in the society did not approve of them and their actions (Newton, 2009, p 278). Their gay nature to the others was something immoral and so the fact that they were ordinary people but with different sexual desires was overlooked. They were treated harshly. This gave them an opportunity to go forth and fight for their rights as well as vying for recognition of their gay nature by the government mostly. A protest that comprised eight thousand gay people was held an indication that they were out to fight for their rights.
For the simple fact that same sex marriages have been legalized in many countries of the world, gay people in Australia have a feeling that they also should be allowed to do so. For this reason, it has however not been a smooth sailing for the Australian government in its quest to ban same sex marriages (Hull, 2006, p 203). Civil unions have been established strongly backing this issue of same sex marriages. They proved to be somewhat advantaged as same sex couples were being financially discriminated against in 2007. This was a strong accusation against the Australian government. However, this was overlooked because with power, one can do anything and that is what happened. Since the government had power, it did not consider this as it would mean defeat.
The issue of power and gender performance is not ending any time soon in gay marriages. As each party continues pulling towards his/her direction, it remains to be seen how the Australian government will solve this menace. With gay marriages becoming socially acceptable in many nations, organizations supporting same sex marriages continue to put pressure on the Australian government to allow them. It is only time which will tell how whether the gay fraternity have any future in Australia or not.
Edward, P. 2008. Conflict of laws in Australia London: Butterworths publishers, 3-808
Hull, K. 2006. Same-sex marriage: the cultural politics of love and law Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 4-277
McDonald, P. 1999. Marriage in Australia: age at first marriage and proportions marrying, 1860-1971 Dept. of Demography, Institute of Advanced Studies, The Australian National University, 2-311
Merin, Y. 2002. Equality for same-sex couples: the legal recognition of gay partnerships in Australia and the United States Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2-397
Newton, D. 2009. Gay and lesbian rights: a reference handbook Contemporary world issues (2) New York: ABC-CLIO publishers, 3-301