Sunday, March 13, 2011

Australians Need Full Marriage Equality

Katrina Fox argues for marriage equality in Australia, rather than just increasing the freedom to marry by a limited amount.

Simply allowing ‘same-sex’ couples to marry will still leave people like Wilson and many other intersex, sex and/or gender diverse (ISGD) people unable to access the same legal right. A more inclusive option is to allow individuals to get married whatever their sex or gender, including those who identify as having no sex or gender or whose sex may be indeterminate.

All of these issues can be addressed by allowing an adult to marry any consenting adults; full marriage equality.

Surely it makes more sense to expand the definition of marriage to include a range of relationship models including polyamory, instead of holding up monogamy as the gold – indeed only – standard. Contrary to myths that people in non-monogamous relationships are unable to commit, a poly lifestyle often involves a great deal of communication between partners and offers them an even greater level of intimacy and capacity to love.

She goes on to conclude…

In 2011 it’s time to redefine marriage to include a diverse range of relationships between one or more people of any sex or gender (including not specified or indeterminate). Those desperate to cling on to outmoded traditions would do well to heed the moniker used by motivational speakers: ‘Adapt or die’. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 2009, the crude marriage rate (the number of marriages registered during a calendar year per 1,000 residents) in our country is now lower than it was 20 years previously.

Opening up marriage to be more inclusive, progressive and representative of the realities of our relationships today is not a threat to the institution, but rather an opportunity to preserve it.

I agree, though I would argue that full marriage equality does not redefine marriage. If anything, monogamy and anticonsanguity laws redefined marriage. Full marriage equality just means that everyone will have their freedom to marry.
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