Noisy Minorities

It is one of those statistics one can neither conclusively prove nor disprove, but indications are that less than 3% of the Australian public are homosexual.

So why is Gay Marriage such a contentious issue in our country? Is it really only about the rights of two same sex individuals to have legal ‘wedded bliss’?

Somehow, amazingly, it has become a make-or-break issue for candidates in some quarters of the Federal election and the church-going Kevin Rudd has, in this election year, even reversed his stance to now become a strong advocate of gay marriage to the point of bullying on national TV (Q&A, ABC) a church minister for having a contrary point of view.

We seem to have a new political force in our country… a minority cleverly dictating the popular agenda. Examples are plentiful:

The bike lobby… millions are being spent on bikeways, pedestrians must now share footpaths with speeding cyclists, drivers must endure those ‘master of the universe’ cyclists who weave in and out of traffic and spoil it for all concerned. The cyclists get every consideration but the motorists pay the license fees and road taxes.

Smokers…Sit down in an outside café and who rules the roost? Smokers. I was recently at an outdoor café and three tables surrounding me had people eating meals. The fourth had a couple chatting away, with a woman oblivious to her lighted cigarette that was burning away in an ashtray as she chatted, making the air reek of her smoke as we ate.

Dogs… dog owners don’t seem to realise that their dog is not always the brightest beacon on the block! If a person went up to a stranger and started chattering away and giving him a nudge and a pat on the back, one may take offence, yet we’re supposed to say ‘how cute’ when someone’s out of control dog invades our space. More importantly, if said dog frightens our children, or attacks our own pet, or knocks over granny, then we are the ones with the problem children or pets… and  what are we thinking letting granny out for a walk, anyway?

In all of the above examples, gays, bikes, smokers, dogs, if you have a different point of view about one of these minority lobby groups and try to stick up for your viewpoint, expect to be attacked as sexist, anti-social, anti-exercise, anti-environment, anti-animal liberation, etc. Kevin Rudd’s attack on the church man was a classic example and hugely applauded on social media.

So back to the minority of Gay Marriage.

Do gay activists actually want to change the Marriage Act?

The Marriage Act defines a union between a man and a woman, so if you change that to include same sex unions, what happens to the definition of marriage for heterosexual people? Gay people have the right to call themselves ‘Gay’ , but by insisting on this change to the Marriage Act, they are taking away the right of heterosexual people to define themselves as ‘heterosexual’, and  also disregarding the strong religious beliefs of some members of our community … is that fair?

I certainly agree same sex relationships should enjoy the same legal and wedded rights as heterosexual unions, but let’s keep the detail intact. Why not take a hint from Shakespeare… a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, and come up with another name for specific legislation that defines and  makes same-sex unions legal and accepted throughout our community.

What about calling it a Homage Ceremony, where two same sex people pay homage to each other through their legal union?

At the moment, this issue seems to be about taking away credence from one group to give credence to another…surely there is a better win/win solution.

Jan Smith

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