Our Community: Supporter of Australian Marriage Equality

By Denis Moriarty, Our Community Group Managing Director

Posted: August 18, 2017

Marriage equality

Denis Moriarty

Our Community's Denis Moriarty explains why our organisation favours marriage equality.

I actually feel irritated at having to give reasons for being in favour of marriage equality.

We live in a secular state where arguments have to be made on secular grounds, and there really aren't any arguments against same-sex marriage that don't boil down to "God doesn't like it". 

That may be shortsighted of me, though. After all, it's only recently that "God doesn't like it" has ceased to be a knockdown argument. More than that, it's only recently that anyone thought an argument against same-sex marriage was needed. 

A hundred years ago, people were too busy asking themselves whether St. Paul really had forbidden women to vote. A hundred years before that they were wondering whether Moses' views on slavery had any loopholes. 

Historically, it tends to take a long time for any particular form of discrimination to go from being generally acceptable to becoming contestable, but once that's happened discrimination tends to move quite quickly from becoming arguable, to becoming obviously incompatible with how a society sees itself. Prejudices go bankrupt the way people do: first gradually, then all at once.

If history is any guide, in twenty year's time we'll be listening to the people who are now opposing the move tell us that equality is not simply consistent with their conservative principles, but inconceivable without them.

We shouldn't be too critical of our opponents - they're just a couple of internet years behind. As William Gibson says, "The future is here. It's just not evenly distributed."

It's one of those sorts of things that the community sector is all about. As usual, we're going to have to redouble our efforts without any extra funding, our job is to stiffen politicians' courage till they do the bleeding obvious, nobody's going to give us much credit when the smoke clears, and when it's all over Australia will have ratcheted a tiny bit forward, and we can build on that.

And for a beautifully-written and argued case to "vote yes", read this Holden Sheppard article on HuffPost Australia.

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