Same Sex Marriage - All Australians need to be aware that:
- Marriage in Western culture commenced and continues to be as a civil, not religious, function.
- Australia already has a very tolerant view of couples' religious views by allowing approximately 2/3 rds of all authorised marriage celebrants, i.e. religious celebrants, to conduct valid marriages on behalf of the government. This is not the case in all countries.
- Under Section 47 of the current Australian Marriage Act, religious celebrants already have the right to refuse to marry a couple. ie religious celebrants can discriminate now upon any grounds - marital status, differences in religious beliefs, etc.
- 78% of couples choose civil ceremonies so they can celebrate their relationship with family and friends in an inclusive and meaningful ceremony consistent with their values.
- Prior to Australia's independent civil celebrant program, marriage dominated by religious ceremonies often brought shame, hardship and in many cases, fractures in family structures when people were forced to marry "behind the altar" or "change religion" to marry the person they loved.
- More information about Marriage Act Reform