About 'Real Equality'
Real Equality is a collective movement committed to a deeper discussion with the Australian people about the democratic principle of human equality, what it really means, and its implications for political life.
We believe that Australians are a diverse people, yet share a common commitment to this principle, embedded in our culture as a ‘fair go’ and ‘a helping hand’. We therefore believe our public debates and discussion must be held up against this unifying standard.
Our concern is not only that this principle may be rejected, but worse, misunderstood.
This is typified in the debate about marriage in early 21st century Australia, where an incorrect notion of ‘equality’ has been heavily promoted.
For us, marriage is the exemplar of human equality; the equality of men and women. Because the voluntary, exclusive, lifelong relationship that involves the equality and union of both biological halves of humanity represents the democratic principle itself.
We seek to remind people of the historical truth about democracy, and how the definition of marriage in our law is as modern as all the other democratic concepts we enjoy, such as the right to vote for all.
We do this because both democracy and marriage have been continually impacted by the imperfections of us humans, both at a societal and personal level. We all share in the grief and pain of our own limitations. But we consider it a noble challenge for us all to strive to live up to, rather than dismiss, the principles of human equality and marriage.
In this way, a deeper union can be sought, and achieved, for our nation, for men and women in marriage, and for all.
7 Key Realities
Let’s get a few things clear…
The Marriage Act does not mention ‘love’.
The Marriage Act does not try to dictate or assess a couple’s depth of love and affection. That’s impossible.
The current definition of marriage creates the principle of privacy.
The current definition is the source of the rights of all individuals and couples, including homosexual people, to live their private lives unhindered by intrusive law or social censure.
It’s long been recognised under common law that you don’t need a wedding to have a marriage.
Many people in a relationship which meets the definition of marriage don’t register it, which is fine with them.
Marriage is a recognition; not a permission. That’s why marriage-type relationships between male and female long term partners are all recognised under the law as such with all the same rights.
4 Real Historic Facts
And while we’re at it, it’s worth remembering the history behind this marriage act:
The Australian definition of marriage is based upon an 1866 decision by an English judge.
The decision also describes a wife’s “social equality with the husband” and how she stands “upon the same level with the man”.
This judge also supported other democratic reforms such as the right of married women to own property.
The definition of marriage was part of the great democratic reforms of the 1800s that freed slaves, banned child labour, facilitated trade unions and expanded the right to vote to poor people and women.
We look forward to hearing your impressions on this perspective and how we might share it far and wide!
Authorised by Martin Hanson, Real Equality, Brisbane, Australia
Our Convenor is available for Comment…
Martin Hanson is a Brisbane lawyer interested in public policy.
He grew up in a country pub and joined the ALP in 1976, part of a family history of over 100 years in the labour movement. Martin has degrees in Law and Economics.
As convenor of realequality.org he is a passionate advocate for a proper understanding of human equality, democracy and freedom. He believes in the better nature of the Australian people.
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