Resounding yes: Now it’s time to move forward

Australia has voted in favour of same-sex marriage. Now let’s make it happen and move forward.

Australians have spoken with a mature responsibility towards equality, human rights, fairness and a fair go for all; they want a progressive Australia. Finally this divisive saga is close to an end. May I also remind all Australians by virtue of our Constitution: ‘the people are the only source of all political power’.

Long time supporter of the Yes campaign Ron Egeberg

Long time supporter of the Yes campaign Ron Egeberg

In this day and age, we should not be discriminating against people because of their gender, race, religion or sexual orientation. The Federal Parliament must now enshrine marriage equality into law. Marriage must now be about the love, respect and commitment two individuals have for each other regardless of their sexuality.

Marriage in Australia must now be a commitment entered into voluntarily between two consenting, non-related adults. For the life of me, I still don’t understand how our federal government could justify spending $120 million+ on this survey, to satisfy the conservative rump of the coalition.

As I stated in 2013, the number of supporters of same-sex marriage back then far outweighed those who opposed it.  The survey result in Ballarat was 66% who are in favour of same-sex marriage!  All that was needed was a vote by parliamentarians reflecting the majority of their constituents on the matter!

Let’s remind ourselves of the facts. The institution of marriage has had many incarnations over time from being an economic arrangement to one of ownership (goods and chattels) to being totally secular to being of a religious nature to a genuine partnership. 

Despite the claim of the churches that marriage is a religious institution designed for the procreation of children, it is not; it is a legal and social institution first and foremost for two people who love each other and wish to make a public commitment. 

I have no issue with the churches not wanting to perform same-sex marriages.  That is their right; after all it’s their church! But they can’t deny others from getting married in secular settings.

To my mind there was a streak of thinly veiled homophobia underlying many of the arguments of those opposing same-sex marriage. Their No campaign was all about trying to make it everything else other than marriage between two people of the same sex. The far right of politics must be brought to account.

May I remind them that we live in a democracy, the people have spoken, marriage equality must be legislated for by our Parliament without further delay. The legalisation of same-sex marriage will remove the last provisions in our law that discriminate on the basis sexuality and will enable people to choose whatever domestic arrangements suit them with another person.

May I quote Senator Penny Wong: “Inclusion and tolerance have always been the guiding lights of social progress.  They have always shone brightly on discrimination and time and time again have shown us that our similarities will always be greater than our differences. Our society is strongest when we are accepting; when we enable equality to overcome exclusion. We are not so different; and it is time to recognise this.”

I respect marriage. I believe in the sanctity of it, and I believe in the right of people to marry irrespective of their sexuality. Let’s make it a reality without delay and move on to other important issues that are of concern to this country.

Ron Egeberg

Civil Marriage Celebrant