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The "I don't" option


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I don't have a problem with it. I mind more about laws that prevent gay marriage than anybody who deliberately chooses not to get married. There's plenty of straight people who do the same thing, some in very, very longterm relationships. The best legitimate reason to get married is for legal reasons, insurance, taxes, estates, and all that stuff. There are some awful stories about longtime partners who weren't allowed into hospital rooms because they were deemed "not a relative" by the attending staffs; with gay marriage, this is no longer allowed.

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I agree with Pecman's legitimate reasoning for marriage, but it's different here in Australia where couples are judged to be in a de facto relationship for the purposes of our government Centrelink (social security.)

With recognition of same sex de facto relationships, in Australia, came lower benefit entitlements for both partners, albeit equal to opposite sex partners in a de facto relationship which, is basically very similar to married opposite sex couples. When same sex couples were thus recognised, many couples found themselves receiving less benefit. And of course, they still weren't recognised as married.

I think that I would have married my partner back when I was in my early twenties, but these days we would both want to see some reason to do so, whether that be economic or political. After over 40 years together we tend to think that marriage is not something we want or need, but we are very adamant that marriage should be available as a human rights equality issue.

As the marriage licence is issued by the state as a civil contract between two people, religions do not have a right to interfere with such a contract. Religions may of course, decide to sanction, or not, a wedding ceremony, but the religious organisation and its adherents should not expect to control the non-believers' human rights to marry. If the religious feel that their beliefs are being infringed, it really isn't the concern of the non-believers...the problem is clearly one for the religious, but the solution must never be for them to force their belief on others. History is full of tortured and slain bodies of those who were judged as failing to conform to religious tenets. Consideration of this enforced conformity is one of the factors that led us to the separation of Church and State. Therefore, I maintain that religion does not have the right to control civil union in marriage, regardless of the gender of the couple, and certainly regardless of what any particular religion proclaims as the word of their deity. It's irrelevant to the civil contract.

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