Sunday, 18 September 2016
So why is the Turnbull Government toadying to the religious right when it comes to marriage equality?
Why is the Turnbull Government toadying to the religious right when it comes to marriage equality?
It is a bit of a puzzle when religion appears to mean so little to couples deciding to marry.
For instance, there were 121,197 marriages registered in Australia in 2014 and only 31,336 (or 25.8%) of the marriage services were conducted by a minister of religion, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
At least 79.4 per cent of all these couples co-habitated before marriage.
In 2014 a total of 299,697 births were recorded of which an est. 34.6% were born outside of a registered marriage.
If one looks at the broader picture – the 2011 Census records that that 67.3% of the population professed to having a religion.
Only 48.7% of the 2011 population over 15 years of age were married, 5.5% were widowed and 45.8% were never married, separated or divorced.
In 2011 a total of 301,617 births were recorded of which an est. 34.18% were born outside of a registered marriage.
Similarly In 2010 a total of 297,903 births were recorded of which an est. 33.63% were born outside of a registered marriage.
Given that the majority of religions practiced in Australia have some form of prohibition on the sexual conduct of unmarried males and females and encourage legally binding marriage, one has to suspect that an individual’s religious beliefs do not necessarily have any impact on how they choose to enter into partnerships for life or what type of partnerships these may be.
Nor does religious belief appear to play a large part in decisions to start a family.
As for the last stage of life, McCrindle Research (2014) states that in Australia; Cost is the biggest influencer when planning a funeral with 2 in 3 (66%) Australians stating it is extremely or significantly influential. Cost is considered more important than both religion or life philosophy (31%) and culture and family traditions (27%) and Over half (58%) of the population would prefer to have a civil celebrant conduct their funeral.
Which indicates that religious beliefs are no longer a primary concern for the majority of individuals when burying life partners and family members.
So, Liberal and National Party senators and members of parliament – why on earth are you creating such a hypocritical fuss over revisiting the federal Marriage Act again and including same-sex, transgender etc. couples in the definition of marriage and why are you considering giving people professing a religion and rabid homophobes the right to discriminate against LGBTIQ couples who may seek to marry in the future?
It was the Australian Parliament which narrowed the Marriage Act in 2004 and it is up to this 45th parliament to correct that mistake.