Why religious dogma has no standing in the same-sex marriage debate
Let us be clear from the get-go, it is none of my business what anyone chooses to vote in the same-sex marriage postal survey.
That is of course provided that you are casting your vote for purely secular reasons.
If you believe, as many purport to, that marriage should remain as it is for the safety of children, then although I would argue that that point has been well and truly quashed time and time again, you are absolutely entitled to cast your vote based on that belief.
Perhaps you’re voting no out of fear that your religious freedoms will be placed under duress if the yes campaign succeeds.
As journalist P. D. Riches put it, ‘allowing same-sex couples to marry is not the same as allowing same-sex couples to be married by a Catholic priest, Jewish rabbi or Muslim cleric.’
However, I again concede that you are entitled to that concern and may vote “No” accordingly given that the exact legislation has not yet been drafted.
If you are voting “No” out of a belief that God or any other supposed earth creating supernatural intelligence never intended for people of the same-sex to copulate then I have a pretty serious issue with your viewpoint.
Since the federation of states in 1901 Australia has operated under the tenants of a democratic political system.
One of the key principles of that democracy is the separation of church and state.
This essentially means that Australia has no state religion because Section 116 of the Constitution prohibits the Government from making any law to establish a governing religion or impose any religious observance.
To water this principle down even further, a religion’s authority ends at the threshold of the place in which it is practised, whether that be a church, synagogue, mosque, private dwelling, voodoo forest or castle of wizardry.
Before the free speech police sound the siren, I’m not saying you literally can’t vote “No” for religious reasons (you can do as you please), but an argument based on the idea of theocracy or dogma has no true validity in this discussion.
If you choose to believe that two men or two women will be subjected to eternal damnation for what they do behind closed doors then that is also your right under Section 116, but to bring that form of reasoning into a civil political discussion is entirely against a fundamental tenant on which this country was built.