Paul P. Mealing

Check out my book, ELVENE. Available as e-book and as paperback (print on demand, POD). 2 Reviews: here. Also this promotional Q&A on-line.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Gay marriage


Three posts in 2 days is unheard of for me, and all politically motivated. But I couldn’t resist this, which is a post by Sally Whitwell, which she’s borrowed from You-Tube.

Gay marriage is inevitable because all the arguments against it crash on the rock of equality. This is between 2 people, not between them and governments or them and the church. When gay marriage is finally allowed, it will have an enormous effect on those who support it and absolutely no effect on those who oppose it.

10 comments:

The Atheist Missionary said...

The next time someone tells you that they oppose gay marriage, ask them if they have gay friends who are married or, better yet, if they have ever attended the wedding of a gay couple. If they haven't, they are in no position to offer an opinion.

I grew up in a very homophobic area and it was not until I reached adulthood that I had the opportunity to interact with openly gay people. It was only after I had the opportunity to work and socialize with openly gay people that I was able to appreciate that they should be afforded the same rights as heterosexuals, without exception.

Paul P. Mealing said...

Hi TAM,

You might be interested in this.

Well, Australia was very homophobic when I was growing up. When I left home at 18 to live in Sydney (I was from the bush) my homophobic father found lodgings for me in a private 'men's' rooming house that, as it turned out, was full of homosexuals (I was the only straight guy there). The guy running the place fancied me but left me alone, and he was completely open and honest with me. It was an education.

Years later I joined the theatre in Canberra, where homosexuals have long been accepted. A decade later I worked as a volunteer carer with VAC (Victorian AIDS Council) which was initiated and run by the gay community. It was so successful it became a model for overseas groups, like Hawaii, I believe.

Regards, Paul.

Thomas Larsen said...

Paul, out of interest, how do you understand "marriage"?

Paul P. Mealing said...

Hi Thomas,

I need to say up front that I've never been married. At short notice, this is my best definition: Marriage is a mutual commitment between a couple made in front of friends and/or family.

Many couples, these days, live in de facto relationships - 80% is a statistic I've heard mentioned in Australia - which I think is the norm. A lot of couples only get married when they decide to have children or even after they've had children. But marriage should be an option, not mandatory, and it should be available to all couples of consenting age that live in de facto relationships, which, of course, includes same-sex couples.

Regards, Paul.

Paul P. Mealing said...

Hi Thomas,

This is the statistic I was referring to, quoted by Frank Brennan (Jesuit priest) on Compass last year, when they discussed gay marriage. (I know, I've given you this link before, on Stephen Law's blog.)

Another observation is that back in the 1970s, the percentage of people who cohabited before marriage I think was much less than 20%. Now it's 78%. But I think for a lot of people marriage, even civil marriage, has become an institution where it's quite optional. And what is the fundamental thing in moving from cohabitation to getting married? With most of them, I think it's about the decision to have kids.

Regards, Paul.

Thomas Larsen said...

Sorry for replying so late!

"This is between 2 people, not between them and governments or them and the church."

Interesting.

Do you think kids should be taken into account?

Do you think "friends and/or family" should be taken into account?

Do you think God should be taken into account? Perhaps you do not think a being worthy of the title "God" exists; but if such a being does exist, then surely we ought to follow that being's commands regarding marriage, for that being would know what would be best for us.

By the way, I just realised you live in Melbourne. Hopefully I'll see you around!

Thomas Larsen said...

By the way, regarding those statistics, I guess I would want to ask people: how's that working for you? In my experience, many (if not most) people in our society are miserable about their relationships: they're constantly seeking "The One," never finding him or her, and living in relationships that seem wonderful for a time and then suddenly go awry.

Paul P. Mealing said...

Hi Thomas,

Actually, I’ve written quite a lot about God on this blog and we could start a whole new conversation about that. All of ‘God’s commands’ that I’ve come across were written by humans. The only God anyone knows about is the one in their heads, so it’s totally subjective. Basically, people project their views and prejudices onto their ‘God’ – that’s pretty obvious. I’m not saying that’s either good or bad because obviously the God someone believes in depends on the believer rather than the other way round. I’m not anti-theism – I just acknowledge that everyone has their own God, and I’m fine with that, as long as they don’t claim that their God has to be my God.

People have kids if they want to have kids, which is great. I expect, for a lot of people, children is what gives them meaning in their life. I can’t speak for myself, as I’ve never had kids. Obviously, same-sex couples can have children as well, and, in fact, do: Penny Wong recently became a mother.

Since you want to ask me so many questions, let me ask you one. The whole issue about same-sex marriage is that if you’re against it then you must be against same-sex de facto relationships as well. Are you against same-sex de facto relationships?

Regards, Paul.

Paul P. Mealing said...

Hi Thomas, again.

You asked about relationships. My initial reaction was to ignore it, but if you want pop-psychology, I can do that too.

Relationships are all about expectations. It doesn't matter whether it's work relations or contractual relations or familial relations or emotional relations, success or failure is dependent on expectations.

If your expectations of yourself doesn't match their expectations of you and vice versa, then the relationship will need adjustment or it fails. It may be simplistic but it's true. In psychology it's called exchange theory.

Regards, Paul.

Decemberitis said...

Interesting how the church tries to regulate marriage. Why does it matter to them? If their god accepts marriage only between man and woman than surely if two men or two women marry it is not seen as marriage in gods eyes. Its funny how Christians think going to court in a country and getting a document saying you are married than you are married in gods eyes. Just ridiculous. The only reason it matters to them is because their one book says so even though in reality we see homosexuality present in nature. God hates homosexuals yet there are animals that are homosexuals.