This is an essay on whether or not same-sex marriage should be made legal in Australia.
Picture this: A young couple are walking along the beach, hand in hand. The sun is setting and they embrace. It all seems very romantic, doesn’t it? Would your image of this change if it shows that the couple are of the same sex? Would you feel horrified if they kissed?
I am here to ask; do you believe that it is a good thing same-sex marriage is illegal? Would you want it to remain that way? The truth is, we should all have the right to marry whomever we want once both are old enough to do so legally. It should not matter whether the two are of the same or opposite sex, as long as they feel happy being with each other. Why, you ask?
For starters, what effect does it have on the heterosexual community? None, whatsoever! It doesn’t change the laws, rights and obligations on heterosexual couples, nor does it reduce or lessen what a ‘marriage’ is. One definition of the word ‘marriage’ is a combination or mixture of elements. This is the same for humans. Why should mixtures of the same sex be disregarded in this definition?
Highly important is the fact that keeping same-sex marriage illegal is nothing more than discrimination against those who are attracted to the same sex. Just because your beliefs, religious or otherwise, do not coincide with same-sex marriage, that does not mean that you should show hatred towards those who are attracted to the same sex. Just as beliefs vary between religions and various political parties it does not mean that your beliefs are the right ones. People attracted to the same sex deserve to be treated just as fairly as people attracted to the opposite sex.
Another point to consider is that same-sex couples make as good parents as opposite-sex couples, if not better. According to psychologist Abbie Goldberg, gay parents ‘tend to be more motivated, more committed than heterosexual parents on average, because they chose to be parents’. It is very rare for a same-sex couple to become accidental parents. More often than not, they adopt a child if they wish to become parents. A study found that children raised by same-sex parents scored around six percent higher than the general population based on general health and family solidity. The biggest gift that can be given to a child is to be loved and cherished, no matter what. Same-sex couples can do this as well as opposite-sex couples.
But perhaps the most important reason for Australia to legalise same-sex marriage is the fact that this could lead to a reduction in suicide rates. A child’s mental health can be affected by the feelings of shame and disgust because even talking about having a strong connection to someone of the same sex is taboo in many households and same-sex marriage is illegal within the country they live. Keeping same-sex marriage illegal also puts the thought into others’ minds that being gay or lesbian is wrong. This may result in them in bullying someone they know or believe is attracted to someone of the same sex. This in turn will worsen the victim’s mental health, which, more often than not, will result in that person committing suicide. We need to show the younger generation that being gay or lesbian is not a social disability, nor is it shameful.
These four are the most important of many reasons in favour of legalising same-sex marriage. Thanks to the progression of society, inter-religion and inter-racial marriage is now accepted as a normal part of our Australian society. The fact that inter-racial marriage has, for a long time, been legal in Australia and was accepted as a part of our society for a long time before that, begs the question: why can’t we do the same for same-sex marriage?