Robyn Rodda Blog

Same Sex marriage - are they making a point?

There have been two major events this past week that has encouraged reactions from many many people including me and I can't help but compare some symbolism in the two. The first was the death of the great Nelson Mandela and the second was the happening of same sex marriage in Canberra. How can I compare the two you ask? Well read on and I will explain my understanding of how the two compare.

Firstly, the same sex marriage issue in Australia. Let me explain firstly that I am very much in favour of marriage between two people regardless of who they are (as long as they are both of sound mind and legal age of course). So of course same sex marriage should happen not only in one territory and not only in Australia but worldwide! But, I keep feeling that the first few weddings in the ACT just after midnight were done at that time to make a point. And well why not, "lets show 'em" "we can get married now and we'll do it our way!" But that is the problem I have with it. It just feels to me quite contrived to get married to prove a point.

Now, how does this compare to Nelson Mandela, you ask? OK, keep reading and you will eventually see my point.

With the recent death of Mandela, I have learnt more about his life and what struck me most about him was his ability to forgive those that had done him wrong. Do you see where I'm going with this now? He spent 27 years in jail, stripped of everything. His family, his home, his life. And when he was eventually liberated and then escalated to President, he not only forgave those that had cheated him and all black people of Africa, but he united everyone in the country! He was famously quoted as saying "For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others." And Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies." In other words, if we treat our opponents the way our opponents treated us, then we will never progress but if we treat them how we wish to be treated then we will move forward.

At this point you may feel resentment towards me, after all, I was able to marry many years ago with no restrictions and I have never suffered prejudices so what do I know..... But marriage is my business and I want to know that every couple I marry, regardless of whether they are gay, heterosexual,  black, white, brown, middle class, upper class, young or old, are getting married because they are in love and want to spend the rest of their life together, and not to prove a point. I'm not suggesting for a minute that the couples who were married just after midnight on December 7th did not get married for the right reasons, I'm sure they did, but what was the reason for getting married at that time? To be the first in Australia?  To make sure they were married for at least a week depending on the ruling from the high court next Thursday? I don't know, but it just seems to me that to try to prove a point to the "straight community" will actually feed the prejudices.

I'm sorry if I have offended anyone, I certainly didn't set out to but I also welcome other opinions and comments on this subject.

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