Proposed new definition of marriage in Australia

I disagree with the proposed changes to the marriage act because I am convinced biblically that it is not in our best interests to live in a way different than that which God designed us for.  Therefore marriage between a woman and a man is better and I should be able to argue for it in the secular arena. So here is my submission to the government on the issue. It’s not perfect, but it’s an attempt to reply in a way other than ‘it’s wrong’.

This is where they ask for submissions:

http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/House_of_Representatives_Committees?url=spla/bill%20marriage/index.htm

Part 1 Do you agree?

I think this motion is redefining something that the writers don’t understand. What is marriage? Two people can be friends, housemates, sexual partners. Why marriage?  The current definition has some logical undergirding:  the basic biological natural family unit – the ability of a normal married couple, male and female, to procreate.

Where does the current definition arise from? Why to ‘the exclusion of others’,  ‘for life’ and ‘man and woman’?  We may not be a christian nation but these three elements arise historically from the Bible. So why, if we want to leave this definition behind,  do we still have two parts of the definition – ‘for life’ and ‘to the exclusion of others’?

This failure to see why marriage exists means that any change from the current definition leads a definition that is arbitrary, one that accommodates whatever the current social trends are. Therefore we be forever amending the marriage act. Why not polygamy, or marriage to a (consenting) animal, or  bisexual marriage between three people? On the human rights argument, all these are legitimate. The old definition has some logic to it, the new one is completely arbitrary – yet it still discriminates. So why not just ‘marriage is a voluntary union of people.’ I think we have failed to see the fundamental truth behind marriage: a man and a woman in lifelong exclusive union form the basis for a family.

Also the current definition is written with an agenda.  It should read “marriage means the union of two people…”  The phrases “regardless of their sex, sexual orientation or gender identity” are unnecessary. They appear to be about promoting acceptance of different sexual orientations, not just a plain reworking of who can marry.

Part 2 legal implications?

1. The new definition of marriage is inconsistent. How can it be regardless of sexual orientation yet be just between two people and to the exclusion of all others? Between just ‘two people’ and ‘to the exclusion of others’ discriminates against people of a particular sexual orientation in a similar way that the current male and female definition discriminates – it’s just that the new definition has no inherit reason as to why.

2. Marriage is so fundamental to christian obedience to the bible that if this goes ahead, and the state’s definition of marriage becomes radically different to the bible, then I think the church will need to define it’s own “christian marriage” and we will have two marriages, one secular and one Christian, with neither being recognised by the other. Traditional churches in order to obey biblical marriage may refuse to recognise some secular marriages.   I don’t now where this leads but it may get messy.

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