Opinion

Marriage Act leaves the definition open

Supporters attend a marriage equality rally in Sydney, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2016. Supporters of marriage equality are calling on Members of Federal Parliament to pass legislation in Parliament, and avoid a same-sex marriage plebiscite which has been proposed by the Federal Government. (AAP Image/Joel Carrett) NO ARCHIVING
Supporters attend a marriage equality rally in Sydney, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2016. Supporters of marriage equality are calling on Members of Federal Parliament to pass legislation in Parliament, and avoid a same-sex marriage plebiscite which has been proposed by the Federal Government. (AAP Image/Joel Carrett) NO ARCHIVING JOEL CARRETT

RE: Michael Kleinschmidt (SCN 11/10/2016): The Marriage Act of 1961, which is still in use today, actually has no definition of marriage.

The government of the time even stated that it had no intention of trying to define marriage.

Instead, it would leave it open to evolve with changes in society and to incorporate cultural differences when recognising foreign marriages.

For 53 years that remained unchanged.

It was only in 2004 that John Howard, without holding a plebiscite to let the people vote, added an amendment to the act that defined marriage as "between one man and one woman, to the exclusion of all others".

You mentioned the reclamation of the word "queer".

Well, now we're trying to reclaim the word "marriage" for everyone, as it was intended.

So, yes, we are fighting for "gay marriage" and not some second-class alternative, because the actual marriage act was written to allow it.

Are we really going to let a restrictive, narrow-minded 12-year-old amendment ruin a 65-year-old act of law that was far more progressive and forward-thinking?

BYRON HICKSON-JAMIESON

Buderim

Topics:  letters marriage act same sex marriage


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