I’m not sure if it’s true but the story goes that when the announcement of the first gay marriage was made on October 1, 1989, one of the editors at this newspaper said, “I’ve got the headline. With This Ring . . .”
Go on. Laugh. It’s funny. OK. Gay marriage. Can you explain that to me please? Same sex couples have had the guts to follow their hearts and their genitals, to defy “convention” and stereotypes and live boldly, freely, proudly and authentically. They have stood tall, gay and rebellious despite the wrath and the disdain of the uptight white honkies, the religious fundamentalists, the idiots, the conservatives and the right-wing political extremists. So why on earth would they want to get married?
Sure, they should be able to get married but why would they want to? Why would these glorious public unions that have said “stuff you, this is who I am, like it or join the Young Liberals” buy into an institution that has regarded their love as everything from wrong to degenerate to evil? Why would they want to buy into this antiquated system? This is an institution historically based on inequality, racism, ownership of human beings and sexual and financial control of women and children. Then reinforced by romantic notions fed and fuelled by marketing and the media.
Even the straights are walking away from marriage in droves. You reckon the 7.15 from Dandenong to Flinders Street is chockers? You should check out the 8.05 from Outmoded Expectations to Living In Sin.
Gays, lesbians, queers and homosexuals should be able to get married if that’s what turns them on. But they should not have to purely for the relationship to be legally ratified for the purposes of superannuation, pensions, taxation and to have legal status as the parents of their own children. It makes me ashamed to live in a society that denies this fundamental right to human beings.
Gay people don’t need to be accepted by this institution that will never fully embrace them. F—‘ em. Do your own thing. Don’t be like us boring old straights and child-obsessed breeders. I saw a postcard the other day. It had an image of a 1950s bride with the words: “Why do I have to get married? I didn’t do anything wrong.”
That is why the movement by the Melbourne City Council to set up a Relationships Declaration Register is a move in the right direction. Registering a same-sex relationship will not give them the same rights as married couples but this documented evidence could help in legal proceedings involving inheritances and the division of property. One small step for man love and woman love. One giant step for us all.