What social structures are at play in this issue?

What social structures are at play in this issue?

What social issue has been significant in Australia in the last twelve months? What social structures are at play in this issue? Number of Pages: 5 Word count: 1816 For a number of years same sex marriage has been the topic of debate for many reasons and throughout many groups of individuals. In the past 12 months the topic of same sex marriage in Australia has become even more significant especially with more and more countries around the world legalizing same sex marriage, with New Zealand, Australia’s neighbor country becoming the latest country to legalese same Sex marriage.

Gay rights activists around the world have also brought the issue to the centre of the debate by demonstrating that the anti-discrimination laws that have been introduced in parts of the world and have made discrimination on the basis of gender or sexual orientation illegal (Baker 2010). With that being said how is it possible that Australia, one of the most westernizes countries in the world, a country that is full of different groups of people and beliefs is still so far behind compared to other parts of the world when it comes to legalizing same sex marriage.

This essay will begin by looking briefly at religion as a Asia of marriage also the history of marriage and lastly family structure and how these structures come into play when regarding the issue of same sex marriage. Two main voices of the debate for same sex marriage to become legalized come from the gay and religious community (Baker 2010). When individuals from the religious community attempt to argue against same sex the most common religious argue meets are that ‘it is disobeying the word of God’ and ‘the bible is against homosexuality because it is a sin’.

The religious debate against same sex marriage is continuously backed by their beliefs and how emotionality is a sin, however the bible also states ‘You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: am the Lord’ (Leviticus 19:28) yet we do not see the church or the religious community rallying or debating as strongly against individuals with tattoos or piercing nor do individuals with tattoos and piercing having their rights revoked as a citizen.

In religion same sex marriage and homosexuality are thought of as being the greatest sin however nowhere in the bible does it describe homosexuality being a greater sin than any other. The topic of homosexuality has encouraged Christian fundamentalists to go to such great lengths as to sell books and tapes and hold workshops for families on how to turn your gay children straight, while Christians who are gay themselves attend events in an attempt to become straight to fit in with what societies view of normal (Back et al. 2012, p. 164).

Religious followers believe in the word of God however the bible also proclaims that ‘Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him’ Noon 5) therefore this passage should be just as important. With that being said the elisions community cannot be generalized as a whole as there has been a greater acceptance of marriage equality throughout the Christian community, Anglican Parish Priest Dave Smith (in Australian Marriage Equality 201 0) stated that, “From a Christian point of view, marriage is an institution designed to serve two social needs: 1.

Contribute broadly to social stability, 2. Provide a stable environment for the nurturing of children. If this is the case then the only questions Christians need to concern themselves with when it comes to the issue of gay marriage are these two: 1 . Would gay marriage lead to greater social stability? 2. Would a married gay partnership be likely to provide a more secure environment for the nurturing of the children of a gay couple than an unmarried one? I think the answer to both these questions has to be ‘yes”‘.

A campaign named Christians 4 Equality has been launched by Australian Marriage Equality and a survey of Australians Was conducted where the results showed that support for same sex marriage is at 53% among Christians, 62% among members of other religions and 67% among people with no religious beliefs. With the results showing a greater number for support of same sex marriage by the Australian population religious or not, it is still not legalized by the Australia government.

Individuals who are opposed to same sex marriage are likely to be motivated by what can be referred to as old-time religion, which is no longer compatible with modern society (Epithet 201 1). It is evident that in modern society marriage is not only dictated by the church but much so by the government, this was not always the case. There was a time when marriage was not specifically a contract but a mutual agreement teens man and woman where their relationship was taken to the next level so to speak.

Without there being an actual contract solidifying a marriage the couple grew accustom to traditional Christian views of marriage and specific roles were created for the couple. The man was seen as the bread winner of the household and was obliged to look after the family financially and the wife was seen to be the cleaner, cook and stay at home mother. The wife was believed to be the property of the husband and was no longer an individual with her own legal personal identity which would not change unless there as a death of the husband.

What is seen as a normal family and what role a specific sex must play has changed over the years. What is known as the traditional ‘normal’ family is no longer just mother, father and children. Although the ideas Of what a normal family consists Of have changed over the years and a wife is no longer seen as her husband’s property but given equal rights in a marriage. Through the evolution of marriage, religion no longer has any legitimate power over controlling the institution of marriage the same way it used to (Baker 2010).

To be legally married in modern society you do to need to go to a church or have a reverend or priest at the ceremony, one must simply give proper notice, prove ones identity, make legal vows and sign the correct paperwork (Rushers 2011 It is the choice of the Australian citizens whether or not the couple wants to involve the church but it is not mandatory to obtain a legal marriage. However the church was not the only issue when it came to marriage in Australia.

Marriage rights in Australia were not only concerned with the church but also with the racial laws where aboriginals were not allowed to marry outside of their race. In 1 959 an aboriginal woman was denied permission to marry her fiance based on the fact that he was Caucasian, this led to the government promising such discrimination would never be written into Australian marriage law that was until the law was revoked in 2004 when the Senate passed a Howard government amendment to the Marriage Act banning same-sex marriages (Chrome 201 1).

This clearly shows how marriage laws have changed substantially over the years in Australia, the church is no longer a place where marriages must be held, religion does not need to be involved in ceremonies ND race is no longer an issue, yet religion is still having an influence over who is legally allowed to be married. The definition of what a family consists of in today’s society may very well be the traditional nuclear family but it is no longer limited to that. Families may now include grandparents, step families and families of choice where there is minimal or no blood relation due to adoption, foster care or in vitro fertilization.

Marriages where the parents are in a same sex relationship demonstrate being a family through commitment and solidarity through social ties (Ritzier 201 2, p. 34). Society has deemed same sex marriage wrong pertinent to religious views, another example of societies beliefs aiding in the cause against same sex marriage is family. Commonly heard terms about same sex marriage and family are that the children will grow up to be gay, it is wrong and unnatural and that a child needs to grow up with a mother and father. Therefore a child growing up in foster care, homeless or in a broken is seen by society the better alternative.

The rate of children growing up in families of divorce is growing at an increasing rate and the effect of divorce n children is seen as harmful yet this is not seen by society as harmful when compared to families of same sex parents (Macaroni & Plumper 201 0, p. 651 ). The harm and emotional effects on children that have been brought up by a family with same sex parents is not from the parenting itself but by societies postmodern view on homosexuality and same sex marriages and the taunting that may come to this child due to discrimination and lack Of acceptance among society.

Jennie Milkman (in The Australian 2013) of the University of Technology, Sydney, a practicing lawyer with a focus on family away and non-traditional and non-genetic families. Milkman stated “There’s actually been a wealth of research in the last 25 years from reputable universities in North America and Europe on this subject and that research has become increasingly rigorous over time, the consistent finding is that it is family function and not family structure that’s important for the wellbeing of children.

So, having parents who cooperate and communicate and are warm and open to their children is the consistent factor for a child’s wellbeing, not if there is one parent or two or the sexuality of those parents. She quotes US sociologist Judith Stacey: “Two good parents are better than one good parent, but ;o bad parents are worse than one quite average one. ” The world is evolving and culture is ever changing the nature of marriage and what a family truly consists of and same sex families and marriage are still a continuous topic of debate.

Lesbians and gays are not going therefore the debate will continue until Australia sees same sex marriage as an issue of equality and legal rights as a citizen and not a rejection of religion by following in the footsteps of Countries such as New Zealand and the united Kingdom. One of the reasons people marry is love but it is also to provide security for family, sexuality should not be a reason to deny the right to provide this security. Love and providing for children financially and emotionally should be the qualities considered when raising a family not gender or sexuality.

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