Five Non Religious Reasons to Keep Marriage Law as Man and Woman for Life
Michael Geerling 1 Sept 2017
The Australian Plebiscite on changing marriage law is a pivotal time in the nations
history. We the people have been entrusted with this decision that will impact every
In light of this significant debate, I respectfully contribute a number of ideas and
articles for you to consider.
This article outlines only five non-religious reasons to keep marriage definition as man
and woman in exclusion of all others. My next article will contain five faith-based
reasons for keeping Marriage definition.
1 – Cultural Commonality
The traditional structure of marriage as a man and woman for life can be found over
thousands of years across all inhabited continents. This cross-cultural standard for
marriage has formed the basis for the family unit.
From Ancient China, to the Incas, to Western Africa, the early Europeans and even
Indigenous Australian culture the custom and ritual of a Man and Woman joining in a
lifelong monogamous relationship has been the common pattern. Across all faiths
including Islam, Hindu, Buddhist, Judaism, Christian and many Animistic and Ancient
faiths it has also been recognised as Man and Woman.
Historical variations have included polygamy and modern variations have been ‘open
marriage’ have been consistently been the exception and not the norm.
Currently only 12% of countries in the world recognise same sex marriages.
From an anthropological point of view same sex marriage has never been a sustained
phenomena and does not have the capacity to naturally perpetuate.
People in same sex relationships have existed in all parts of society. Currently in
Australia, we recognise all rights of same sex couples. As such, same sex relationships
and other sex identities are recognised through civil unions.
However, the Australian Marriage Law clearly recognises marriage as a man and
To change Marriage Law is not the simple change of two words, man and woman, it is
a series the complex implications across all parts of our culture and community.
2 – Marriage Legislation is not the Whole Story:
As clearly described the latest Australian Greens newsletter, changing marriage law is
only the first step.
Gender theory and highly experimental sexual education is the expressed wish of
same sex campaigners.
We must be able to handle the fact that a heterosexual marriage is different to other
relationships. If we cannot, we then enter an increasingly complex moral minefield if
we change current marriage law.
What values system and who will we decide the next phase of marriage definition and
In the Senate Committee report below it clearly that change is NOT inevitable,
although it is possible.
The committee also stated that complex law review will be required “as opposed to
common perception that it involves just a few words in one act of parliament.”
Select Committee on the Exposure Draft
of the Marriage Amendment (Same-Sex Marriage) Bill
The context of this inquiry, therefore, was not that a change is inevitable, but that a
parliament may choose to legislate for a change to the definition of marriage,
potentially enlivening the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion in a
range of areas. Evidence demonstrated that there are substantial matters of law and
individual human rights to be dealt with that extend well beyond the Marriage Act
itself. I note that if Australia is to remain a plural, tolerant society where different views
are valued and legal, legislators must recognise that this change will require careful,
simultaneous consideration of a wide range of specialist areas of law as opposed to
the common perception that it involves just a few words in one act of parliament.
3 – Social Frameworks:
The current marriage law and family unit is easily defined and recognised by all
cultures as the social framework for marriage and family.
Biological parents are still the widely recognised as the best place to raise children.
In Australian culture, we don’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable because we
agree to a benchmark or a standard.
Marriage is a difficult and in many ways a miraculous relationship. Just because it has
failed for individuals it does not make the standard incorrect.
4 – Increased Discrimination Decreased Wellbeing
To make the wellbeing issues of LGBTI people dependant on the legislation of
marriage as a man and woman will not be helpful to the LGTBI community.
Acknowledging difference is not negative discrimination.
This is the link between the same sex marriage campaign and gender theory. It is ok to
acknowledge difference. In our society, we must be ok with acknowledging that
hetero couples form a marriage and other sex couples are different.
We cannot guarantee that recognising same sex marriage in law will be the source of
decreased bulling and emotional wellbeing issues for the LGBTI community.
According to the Australian Government committee report lead by Labour, Greens
and Liberal, it says our government is not required to change our laws to alleviate
Select Committee on the Exposure Draft
of the Marriage Amendment (Same-Sex Marriage) Bill
Evidence before the committee confirmed that Australia is not required to make a
change to the definition of marriage under jurisprudence in international law, but nor is
there an impediment to it doing so.
This is confirmed in the report by the UNHCR
The United Nations Human Rights Committee has made it clear that so long as a
nation state has legislation to recognise and protect same-sex relationships—as
Australia has—then the right to freedom from discrimination and equality before the
law is fulfilled because under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,
marriage is defined as being between a man and a woman (Article 23). The European
Court of Human Rights has made a number of judgements in recent years supporting
So why is changing marriage law so important to LGBTI couples? Because LGBTI
community believe and lead others to believe that marriage law is “heterosexist”.
To decrease wellbeing issues, I believe we must increase our personal appreciation of
individuals and the different relationship structures in our society. We must love and
appreciate the LGBTI community. We must love and appreciate hetero couples and
the place that marriage takes in our society.
All people have the same value, not all relationships are the same.
We must be mature enough to appreciate that difference.
Changing the marriage act will also create complex legal positions for freedom of
speech and freedom of religion and open many doors for negative discrimination.
As we see in business and political leaders being targeted and coerced due to their
personal views on marriage.
5 – Voting ‘No’ is not Hate or Bigotry:
In this current public debate, the two contending sides have seen individuals exhibit
unrestrained aggression and attack.
The pie face incident for the Qantas CEO was a clear example as well as the lone
ranger home publishers and online trolling of against the LGTBI community.
However, those in favour of same-sex marriage have crossed the line of healthy
debate many times and often with the support of public figures and of some media
The recent Channel 10 incident where they manufactured anti LGBTI propaganda
and then used it on “The Project” is one highly influential example of gross misconduct.
The same-sex campaigners have created an atmosphere of fear and encouraged a
culture of intimidation and bullying.
If someone does not agree with your point of view then they are not engaged with
but attacked and bullied into submission.
Even more sinister is the culture of coercion. A shop keeper that does not desire to
display a rainbow flag or shopfront stickers is coerced into submission due to violent
verbal attacks or threats to financial impacts.
It is unfortunate that many businesses, councils and government organisations have
taken the uncivilized position of devaluing public comment and debate by promoting
only one side of this argument. And then further labelling anyone who does not align
with their opinion, as ‘bigots’ or ‘haters’.
If you vote “no” in the Australian Plebiscite on same sex marriage it does not make you
a bigot or someone who hates the LGBTI community.
It is possible and socially acceptable for non-religious people to vote to keep the
culturally valued definition of marriage as a man and woman for life.
Slogans are not reasons for change. #lovewins, #loveislove and #equallove are not
intellectually, socially or morally sound reasons. These slogans demonstrate a lack of
thought or consideration. They are marketing genius, but they are not reasons.
It is wise, considered and visionary to keep marriage law as man and woman for life.
Michael’s next article will contain five faith-based reasons for keeping Marriage as
man and woman for life.
Michael Geerling is available for public engagements and media comment.
Michael is also willing to buy you a coffee, hear your story and discuss these important
02 6056 1200
For a clearer picture of the Governments proposed changes, take time to read the