The Australia Constitution's Definition of Marriage

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Section 51 (xxi) of the Australia Constitution gives Commonwealth power to regulate and define the meaning of marriage. It has been defined as “a formal, monogamous and heterosexual union for life”. This definition of marriage is taken from the 19th century English cases, which are Hyde v Hyde and Woodmansee . However, nowadays, people start to challenge the definition of marriage given in the constitution and demand for the change. They want the definition of marriage includes same sex couples and these couples been given the same rights as heterosexual couples.

Thaler and Sunstein (2008) defined marriage as an official status granted by the state, which the married couple can get symbolic as well as material benefits, such as tax benefits, entitlements and evidentiary privileges. They also argued that why both benefits should be combined under the name of marriage (Thaler & Sunstein, 2008). In my view, the material benefits are relevant to be given to the spouse as to acknowledge the rights of the husband or wife. One of the examples of the material benefits is surrogate decision making, especially when the emergency arises. When you are married, it gives an impression to other people that you are someone who we can trust to make a decision to your spouse. Moreover, married couples have marriage license which show that you are someone who is close and know very well about your spouse. That is why the state provides this benefit to the married couples. Thaler and Sunstein (2008) wanted the state to abolish the system of marriage license as this system divided people into two statuses, which are ‘single’ and ‘married’. I do not see the division of these statuses give a big problem to society as some people are tend to be singl...

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... their lives (Landolt, 2007). If a lesbian couple have a son, how do they want to raise the child like other heterosexual families? Who wants to teach the child about being a real man? Who wants to be his role model? Having a father and a mother in a family provides a better environment in raising the children. Both parents can be role model to their children.

In conclusion, it is vital for people to think the pros and cons of the same sex marriage before they vote for it. Every aspect, like children and health, should be taken into consideration before any decision being made. Privatisation of marriage may not be happened as law is still needed to regulate any matter regarding marriage. On the one hand, legalisation of same sex marriage can be seen as equality in human rights. On the other hand, it brings negative effects and harms the society in a long term.

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