Although this particular article is old news, this
story is of particularly interest to me in regards to the gay marriage issue in Australia. What does Mr Ruddock mean when he says "the fundamental institution of marriage"? The PM speaks
of "Judeo-Christian tradition". What traditions, customs and concepts are we talking about when it comes to matrimonial continuity?
Fifty years ago, having a child outside of wedlock would lead to shunning from family members and the greater community. Today, such a thing doesn't even raise an eyebrow. Indeed, being a "single mum with a daughter" is seen by some as being a sign of female empowerment, and that not having a husband doesn't make you any less of a person. According to Roman Catholic Canon law, it is required that both the man and woman be baptised, yet we allow marriage between people where one or both participants aren't baptised. It isn't even necessary that the people in question follow "Judeo-Christian tradition".
Let us look at the Marriage Act 1961
. In particular, the words "for life". I would ask those who speak of defending the tradition of marriage make divorce illegal, since it clearly contradicts the very definition that the Commonwealth has outlined. This way, Mr Howard and Mr Ruddock can both be genuine when they make appeals to "tradition". Perhaps there should also be an amendment requiring that all brides-to-be must be virgins before they vow to "love and obey".
Although critical of events in the US, this
strip from This Modern World sums things up far better than I can.