Gay Marriage

Why does it matter if gays get married?

I’m sure I’m going to upset a lot of people with this post. Gay marriage rights are such a divisive issue. But, it’s something I feel pretty strongly about, so I’m going to just put it out there…. Why start holding back now, eh?

I’m pretty amazed that in the year 2012, we are even having a discussion about gay marriage rights. I wonder if this is how people felt back in the 1950’s in the American south while they were trying to create equal rights for black people. Today it seems crazy that colored people had a separate bathroom, or had to ride at the back of the bus.

In South Africa, where Nelson Mandela is now a revered figure, it’s crazy that there used to be apartheid. Way back before my time, women weren’t allowed to vote. People couldn’t migrate to Australia if they weren’t white. People used to be burned at the stake for being a witch. My point is, there’s a lot of things in the past that people were pretty passionate about that just seem ridiculous now.

In 20 years, kids will be incredulous that gays had to fight for the right to be married. I mean, what is marriage anyway? I’d like to be all romantic and think it’s the binding together of two hearts, but really, marriage is nothing more than a legal business contract. It always has been. It’s the tying together of two people financially. Back in the day, and still today in many third world or middle eastern nations, it is a way for a man to essentially purchase a woman. The man was now responsible for his bride. He had to provide for her. Even in England a hundred years ago, women did nothing more than look for a good husband who could provide her status and money. (Pride and Prejudice anyone?) Shit, women still do that today. That’s why marriages now have pre-nups. If marriage was only about love, people wouldn’t have to sign financial contracts before they said I Do. There wouldn’t be dowries. There wouldn’t be arranged marriages.

Marriage also provides other financial benefits, like health insurance, life insurance and being  recognized in a will, should one party die. It also means if one party goes to hospital, the other one is recognized as the next of kin and gets to make life altering decisions for the other one. I couldn’t imagine if I was taken to hospital and I was told that Matt couldn’t make decisions for me, that they were going to defer those to my mother. I haven’t spoken to her in over 2 years. What would she know about my wishes? When Matt was in hospital and on life support, there was a misunderstanding over whether he could have a transfusion or not. Matt and I had often talked about worst case scenarios, and I knew what he wanted. His parents had different ideas. The hospital stepped in and said as his wife I had the legal and ultimate decision over what happened to him. When he woke up, he was grateful I had been there to make the call, and stand up for what he wanted. I’m sure there’s many other people in the same position.

I love Matt more than life itself, and couldn’t imagine being without him. However, getting a Greencard so we could stay together was a pretty big push for us to get married. If we didn’t, I’d have had to keep flying back and forth. I can’t imagine being a gay or lesbian who is told that because I can’t get married, I can’t be in the same country as the one I love.

I don’t believe in the Church’s view of one man and one woman. For starters, I don’t believe in the church. I think it’s nothing more than a corrupt institution that was used back in the day to control the masses with it’s oligarchy. These days most churches are still corrupt and self serving. Look at the Catholic church. It’s all about real estate and covering up child abuse.  Evangelicals and TV churches will pray for you for money. Sects of the Mormons think it’s ok to have 5 wives, but no gay marriages? Others will kill each other because they don’t believe in the same God. Religions are always picking and choosing which bits are relevant and which bits they’re not going to listen to anymore, so it’s all pretty pointless and self serving anyway.

If you need an invisible friend to talk to and that’s your thing, then power to you. I however belong to the Church of Me. I believe in myself and that’s all I need. I don’t need someone preaching to me about something that may or may not have actually occurred over 2000 years ago. I don’t need to tithe to some institution who uses it to pay off lawyers, or buy the preacher a nice house and car, while they never give anything back to their community.  I don’t need to kill people in the name of my God, or think less of someone because they believe in a different God. I know right from wrong, and don’t need the promise of heaven or hell to make me stay on course with my moral compass.

Gay marriages aren’t going to erode the sanctity of marriage. People like Kim Kardashian and Ana Nicole Smith have both done that. Elizabeth Taylor couldn’t keep it with one man. JFK wasn’t loyal to Jackie O. Jackie O married Onassis for love? Yeah, right. Plenty of hetero couples make a joke of the “sanctity of marriage”. It’s up to the couple to make a marriage, it’s not up to others to judge it and approve of it.

Most of my favourite people in this world are gay. My dad was a fashion designer, and we were exposed pretty early as kids to gays and lesbians. I grew up loving “Uncle Pierro”, who was with Harold until Harold died. I was so excited when Pierro was at my brothers wedding. At channel 7, a huge number of the crew was gay. It was almost a requirement to work in the props dept. I don’t know what I would have done without Gordon. He was always there with a packet of Tim Tams and a hug. He was also the one who finally stood up to the director when she thought it was OK to hit me with a cane on set. He was the one who told her if she hit me again he was going to report her to child protective services. The cane disappeared. My best friend growing up, Kate, had a mum who was a lesbian. She lived with her partner.  My favourite in-laws are Uncle Pete and Aunt Steve. I don’t know how I would have made it through some of the family get togethers without those two. My publicist Stephen lives with his gorgeous partner, Ben. Those two have done so much for me. (Although on bad days I curse Stephen for making me go public) These are all people I love, and I don’t see anything wrong or different about them. They just happen to love someone who has an inny or an outtie that matches their own. That doesn’t mean they don’t deserve to be in an equal relationship with the one they love. If Steve gets sick, Pete should be allowed to make decisions for him. If a partner dies, the one left behind should be treated as a spouse, and not have to jump through hoops with what’s left behind.

I think gays and lesbians should be allowed to have kids on their own or adopt them. Kate lived with her dad, but her mum and her partner were always there for her. What’s the difference between a couple having a kid, then one of them realizing they’re gay, and a gay couple already together having a kid? Either way the kid ends up with a blended family. I had a mother and father. Then my father died. Lots of women are single mothers. Their kids don’t have a father and mother. Saying kids need one of each is such bull-shit rhetoric. Are we going to round up all the pregnant women whose husbands died on the battlefield and tell them they can’t keep those kids because they don’t have a dad? What about women who don’t know who their baby daddy is? It’s not like a couple is an island. Kids are exposed to people of both sexes. Other adults step up. Kids seek out what they need. As long as both parents love that child, raise it properly, teach it manners and respect, who cares if they have two mummies or two daddies? So many kids these days already have 2 mums and 2 dads, or 3 or more, because their hetero parents keep getting divorced and re-married.  Matt and I have chosen not to have kids. Ever. Does that mean we shouldn’t be allowed to be married? According to some religious folk, the only reason to get married is to have kids. Should infertile couples have their marriages annulled?

I don’t think it’s right, or constitutional, that town Mayors told Chick-Fil-A that they can’t open new restaurants in their cities,  but you can bet your arse I won’t be eating at a Chick-Fil-A ever again. I don’t tell them they should be open on Sunday instead of going to church. Companies should make products, not spout religious views. I’m an Athiest, but I don’t try to deny people rights based on my non-belief of a deity. I don’t begrudge religious people their right to their beliefs either. I just think people should keep their religious beliefs out of politics and legal issues. Go ahead and pray before dinner, or at the rodeo, or the football game. I won’t begrudge you that right to pray in public. Just don’t expect me to say the words with you, or believe any of it.  But religious people shouldn’t begrudge others their rights either. I will take those people that I love, and who have always been there for me, and who treat me with love and respect over some imaginary person and whatever crap people spouted thousands of years ago any day. I hope that Australia and America both move past the Church v’s State issue, and realize that the love/financial contract between two people shouldn’t be a religious issue.

If Matt’s uncles, Kate’s mum, or Anderson Cooper want to get married to their partners, then they should be allowed. Maybe one day people will look back and think not allowing Pete and Steve to get married is as silly as not allowing a mixed race couple to marry. What a grown couple does in their own personal life has absolutely no effect on me whatsoever. If another couple gets married, gay or straight, it’s none of my business what they do in their bedroom. It doesn’t infringe on my right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

People are people. We shouldn’t be defined by the colour of our skin, by our choice of invisible friend or by who we fall in love with.


11 Replies to “Gay Marriage”

  1. How very disappointing to learn that you have repudiated so much. Australians do not take kindly to their own decamping to the land of dreadful speech, but the large chip on your left shoulder is worse.

  2. You sound really upset with alot of things. Although i am confident you wont check this out, all i can do is offer you this website, Its important to know the love of God for you and for all. To live with hurt, anger and bitterness ultimately is not good for you. I wish you all the best..!!

  3. I, like many other Australians felt sorry for you for what was reportedly done to you as a child until now and this post. You have done yourself untold damage in the public eye you silly girl. If you think a pack of gays prancing around, molesting children behind the scenes just like you now “claim”, was done to you are going to support you into your old age, don’t worry about Hey Dad, we in the public eye now look at you and wonder about your children and think Hey Mum…

  4. Dear Sarah,

    I loved this post and couldn’t agree with you more. The three comments already on this page are extremely disappointing and disconcerting to me! I thought the parallels you drew with black rights were very interesting as I often use the same examples myself. As you rightly pointed out, years from now people will look back with horror on this situation as we now do when considering the past lack of equality for African Americans, women and so on. I’m proud to consider myself part of the solution, not part of the problem.

    Not related to this post I would also like to give you my congratulations upon hearing of the recent arrest made in London. I hope he gets what’s coming to him, but you have already achieved so much that I hope you already consider the breaking of your silence to have been a complete success.

    You have inspired me in a very personal way, I would love to express my gratitude in a more private setting but was unable to find a way to email you directly. If you would like to email me, I would be so privileged to reply and explain to your how you have changed my life.

    Best wishes for now and the future.


  5. I’d ask you to extend the same courtesy to the mentally ill as you do gays/children/etc instead of referring to them as “crazy and stupid neighbours” simply because they have schizophrenia. Schizophrenics are far more likely to be the victims of violence than the perpetrators. Furthermore, not all schizophrenics take medication or are at risk of violence because they have insight into their delusions.

    What you said on twitter was offensive, inflammatory and does nothing to reduce the social stigma schizophrenics face. The media love nothing more than to hype up a story about someone with schizophrenia as dangerous to society. Given you’re story is currently in the spotlight, I’d ask that you give us the same consideration you ask others to give people in your circumstances.

  6. You’re right. It was unfair. However, when you’re in the military and your return to post several hours from home and the first thing on your desk is a BOLO with the guy who lives 12 ft from your husband that’s still at home, and it says he’s Threatening to Kill people and you call your husband and he says there’s shell casings and bullet holes everywhere, you tend to freak out. Especially since I had seen him the day before with a rifle in his hands.
    If you’re a diagnosed schizophrenic, and you choose to not take your meds, and your own mother is hoping the cops take you down, she should probably be hiding the stash of weapons, not leaving them around for him to start shooting things with. It was bad enough when he would detonate pipe bombs 12 ft from my house. I was calling her crazy, not him, for being irresponsible for allowing him access to the weapons.

  7. An interesting melange of replies to the concept of marriage. The prejudice and sense of superiority from some of the people replying to this post is, sadly, typical of people who cannot demonstrate either independent thinking or compassion .
    I want to point out that what we are talking about is a commercial contract. Marriage is there to allow the transfer of various rights and property between two people and so provide financial protection to the other, should one of them die or become incapacitated. For some, it is also tied up in religious ceremony. Given the importance of the contract we will often celebrate it with family and friends and announce our love and dedication to the other in that contract.
    Given the importance of that commercial agreement, we (should) make sure that our “other” is someone we know, respect, and with whom we have a friendship. Often that person is or becomes our best friend. We can also call that love. “Love” is the only English word we have for a multitude of emotions and these emotions are shared by the broad range of partnering that occurs in society.
    You won’t stop me from loving the one I want to. Don’t exclude me from this basic right to protect the one I love.

  8. Crikey – what an ignorant pile of bible-bashers you seem to have attracted.
    “Its important to know the love of God for you and for all” (and I’m not even quite sure precisely WHAT Rob Herbert was actually trying to say!

    What you have said in this posting is nothing other than reason and common sense, and share them with you (particularly those of yours in relation to the Catholic Church. (if you haven’t seen / heard it, fellow adapted Aussie Tim Minchin’s take on the matter is brilliant (if deliberately offensive – definitely NOT for delicate Catholic ears!!) –

    Delighted to hear of your vindication over your own past travails., in the arrest of Robert Hughes. (I AM mindful that he has yet to be convicted)


  9. Beautifully put Bobby. My husband was my best friend before we got married, and we couldn’t bear to be apart. Without marriage, I wouldn’t have been able to stay in the US. It breaks my heart to see same sex couples who are also in love who cannot stay together because they can’t get married.
    I think you fall in love with a person, not a gender.

  10. I just came to this as some (obvious) news in Australia triggered my memory of this post. I have to say i am a bit disappointed with some of the people who responded. The fact i care about your soul, doesnt make me a bible basher or ignorant, it just means i care about another person who i dont actually know. What alot of gay people dont seem to realise or appreciate is that a Catholic like myself, is not against them finding happiness or companionship, but we with our hearts believe the institution of marriage should exist only between man and woman, how we believe God intended it to be. These are our beliefs. A true Catholic/Christian would believe the love of God extends to every person on this planet, whether they are gay or heterosexual, and whether they realise it or not.

  11. Hi Sarah. Sorry for a rant here. You just hit the right buttons and so many people do not understand where thought and morality come from. Faith does seem rather prevalent in America.

    @ Robert Herbert: A chip? What’s your point? Huh? Remove the mote first. 🙂

    @DB: Medjugorje does what? Point to a single miracle with a visible change , (like growing a limb).
    From your second post, It’s a shame this is so confronting, but caring about a soul certainly does make you ignorant. What soul? Where?
    Until there is some information that points to a soul that is much more than “I was told by …” [priest, minister or book], there is no reason to believe in it.
    That’s just faith, nothing more. And that is not to be admired, and it is most certainly ignorant.

    What a lot of Christian people don’t seem to realise or appreciate is that a non-christian like myself is not against anyone finding happiness or companionship. As long as they cause no harm to others, they are within their own morality and thankfully, this is a right which the many religions cannot remove.
    You also very accurately said “These are our beliefs.”. Now you’ve recognised they are simply beliefs and not facts, don’t use them to impose alternate morals on people. These beliefs fit your own morality. As they are not my beliefs, they do not fit my morality.

    @ J. Denver: Gays are UNDER represented in the pedo offenders. However, conversely priests are OVER represented. Before you excuse, hold yourself back. No-one can excuse such heinous behaviour, or assume accusations are false because you don’t like the target.
    So just note, Gays = less pedo. Priests = more pedo. They’re the facts. This is YOUR morality.
    I cannot speak for Sarah M., but for myself, I prefer the gays morality over church morality and I prefer my own morality over all.

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