EA, Zynga, Microsoft Support Challenge To Defense Of Marriage Act

Three companies with major involvement in video games — EA, Zynga and Microsoft — have joined some 40 other companies, including the Gap, Google and Starbucks, along with several US cities in filing briefs to support a legal challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act.

The Act, signed into US federal law in 1996, defines marriage as between a man and woman, restricting tax and health benefits from gay couples. The companies say the law is discriminatory, hurts morale and is onerous to comply with.

The brief was filed earlier this month in a case in California's 9th Circuit that may well go on to be heard by the US Supreme Court in a test to the law's Constitutionality. Read the full brief here [PDF]

[via EA].


Comments

    aww man, this is making it hard for me to hate zynga...

      Hate Zynga for what they're doing to games, not because of their political standpoint on certain things.

        I have nothing against Zynga. They've done literally nothing to gaming as a hobby, other than offer a type of gameplay people like my gf like.

        EA on the other hand, who have done nothing but buy great studios and IP and run them into the ground, has a lot to answer for.

          EA is a complete disgrace for what they have done to gaming i agree. But Zynga also has alot to answer to. Since they came around with the pay to win(advance) scheme of gaming it is becoming alot more popular in other games ruining them.

          Article related i approve of this.

            Actually Pay 2 Win has always beena round since MMO's went the "Freemium" route to compete w/ the losses of paid subscriptions when WoW steam rolled a lot of the market.

            Zynga kinda just did what free to play what Angry Birds did to gaming... make it a lot more accessible =P

            Oh and I approve of the article xD

      so you also didn't read the Brief but jumped right in like most ppl do these days. If common sense can prevail, this is not about gay marriage but it links to it because he matter is about taxation issues and most of the companies supporting this have something to gain if taxation laws were changed for individuals. At present for paired of the same sex, taxation is at a higher rate equivalent to x 2 individuals. there is also the situation of health insurance and superannuation which is different for married's to unmarried under laws which differ in countries across the globe. This will be a slow battle if anything but it is a step in the right direction for anyone who understands the real meaning of equal rights. but we will see, because law does not differentiate between classes when its put on the world stage.

    Don't approve but that's just my opinion.

      It's opinions like that that hold back the advancement of equality for the human race.

      But that's just my opinion too.

        No u r right. The moment the human race can grow up and admit the bible is holding us back.

        Martiage is between two people in love.

        Who gave politicians, goverments and religious groups the right to say gay couples have no rights to show there love.

        I think humans have gained this sick idea to judge other peoples lifes.

        Everyone deserves to get married, anyone who disagrees is stupid.

        Christianity is a rotten, fake religion, it say one thing like God forbids the Worshipping of others but yourself or something like that yet the church demands we worship jesus and god.

        The human race is becoming a very sick group of people and I think its time we were destroyed.
        We are a failed race, we have way to much opinion and no privacy. The goverment thinks it has the right to say who get married and not. Like seriously, why does the goverment have so much power that they can controll every aspect of our lifes and we let em.

        The human race is fuked and we have to be destroyed to allow room for earth to create a better race of living things cause a dog and better then a human.

          "I think humans have gained this sick idea to judge other people"

          "anyone who disagrees is stupid"

          love it.

      Wow.. this comment just HAS to be flame bait... i mean, why would you even say that?

        I am Stan; I want to be a woman. I want to be called a Lorretta.
        Don't you oppress me!
        I have a relationship; I demand it to be called Marriage.
        Don't you Oppress me!
        Is it oppression, or comedy on semantics?
        I have no problems with a gay relationship having all the same rights as a married couple, but is it marriage?

      Don’t approve of your opinion, but that’s just my opinion.
      Also, this DoMA sounds ridiculous.

      In the great words of Bob Dylan - the times, they are a changin'.

      Get used to it.

    I can't think of a single reason why gay couples shouldn't get the same benefits as hetero couples do, nor do I want to.

      I always loved the comment I once read:

      "I believe gays and lesbians should be allowed to get married, and then realise they'll be as miserable as the straight people are. Then, they'll fight to give the right to marriage BACK to us."

      Something the ignorant so viciously seek to protect, claiming it to be sacred yet we have:

      People getting married on a whim in Vegas then divorcing the next day.
      KIm Kardashian arranging a publicity marriage.
      Pamela Lee/Anderson/Rock/Whatever her surname is now marrying for 40 days at a time.
      Liz Taylor marrying 500 times.
      The average marriage apparently lasts 12 months these days before divorce?

      If we actually TREATED marriage like a sacred institution (not a religious reference there just saying if it were reverential like we claim it to be), then I'd understand their stance a tiny bit more but it simply makes *no* sense.

        "The average marriage apparently lasts 12 months these days before divorce?"

        The ones that GET divorced, perhaps, which is a percentage that has been dropping in recent years. I'd say if a marriage ends in divorce after 12 months then it was a decidedly LESS than average marriage to start with :P

        Back on topic, I find EA's REASON for opposing the act (as stated here http://www.ea.com/news/ea-stands-against-doma) to be very disappointing.

        "DOMA presents a number of problems for businesses like EA, as it creates regulatory, tax, and discrimination complications for employers, and that’s why we’re standing against it. The underlying lawsuit impacts all employers no matter how big or small, and no matter the industry, and we encourage other business to join these efforts".

        So they're not opposing it on the grounds of morals, ethics or social justice. They're opposing it on the basis that it'll cost them more money to run their business. Shabby.

          They are running a business so teh business is making a case for businesses. I think that makes sense. If you ask the employees, they would no doubt give the reason based on morals.

            Oh so EA is doing this for selfish reasons yet according to weresmurf up there someone's opinion is holding back advancement and equality... if you think any of these companies are doing this for the "right" reasons you're blind.
            They're doing it for monetary reasons whether through advertisement or taxing benefits.

            What I don't get is how you're demoralized and how a law is discrimatory when YOU made yourself applicable to the situation... another round of "The Gay Community" (brackets cause it's no long about the people involved but a select bunch) getting people to conform to their way and whining when everything isn't to their liking, nothing against the people but the community that is forcing things upon you is causing prejudice.

          I'd look at it in a slightly positive way:

          Don't care.

          If they're finding new and more universal reasons to get the thing overturned, great. You'd find many companies saying it costs them money to enact this stuff, which will ramp up pressure.

          In the end, I don't want a conglomerate lecturing me on ethics or social justice, whether or not I agree with them - that's not their role, and I don't want the likes of Coke coming into arguments with their deep, deep pockets and Xbox HUEG reach and base, and then pushing an agenda that I wouldn't agree with.

          If they can find business reasons why discrimination is bad, woo. They'll stick with it if it'll save them money.

            But ultimately it IS a moral / ethical issue. My problem with the "discrimination is bad for business" angle is that it implies that if the situation was the other way around then EA etc would be out there supporting the DOMA because it would save them a few bucks.

              I always thought it was a way to prevent anyone saying, "businesses shouldn't get involved with political matters like marriage". It feels like that's not the real reason they're doing it, that it is them taking a moral stance, and this is their way of justifying it as a business.

              Though knowing EA, it probably is just about money.

                Yeah, that's what I think they're doing too, and it just feels a bit wishy-washy to me... kind of like having a bet each way. On one hand they're trying to appeal to people who support same-sex marriage by opposing the DOMA. But at the same time they want to keep some kind of an "out" by being able to say to supporters of DOMA "oh, we don't actually support same-sex marriage, we're just trying to save money".

                If they're going to weigh into an moral/ethical/social justice debate (regardless of which side they do it on), then they should do it on that basis. I just feel that approaching it from the "it'll save us a few bucks" angle trivializes what is a very emotive issue for a lot of people on both sides. And ultimately their financial issues aren't really relevant - it's a debate about what's right, not what's cheap, and economic/political expediency shouldn't be a factor either way.

                Better for them to stay out of it altogether, I think. Let their individual employees, executives, etc take their own stances for or against, but I don't think it's appropriate for corporations to be weighing in on either side of a debate like this.

          People are getting married much later, so they actually have less opportunity to get divorced in the crucial baby making years. However, I don't know where this 12 months thing comes from - theres actually two spikes, which I believe is either 4 or 7 (can't remember which) and 22.

          4 to 7 equals end of honeymoon phase and arrival of first child, 22 equals children starting to reach adulthood.

          EA is a business. Therefore, they want to make money.

          EA is absolutely correct that DOMA makes it more expensive for them to treat same-sex couples equally to opposite-sex couples. For more, see this post by the Moorfield Storey Institute: http://storeyinstitute.blogspot.com.au/2011/11/high-cost-of-government-mandated.html

          It is correct that EA aren't making a deontological case in favor of gay rights. EA is a corporation with multiple investors, all of these investors probably have a huge variety of views on the issue/s of the morality of homosexuality.

          But I do not see why a business acting in a self-interest manner (as long as it is HONEST and non-coercive) is a bad thing. A business CAN legitimately make statements about whether or not certain pieces of legislation are good or bad for the business (whether or not these statements are correct is another issue), since the business exists to generate profit for investors.

          Personally, I think that EA's stance underlies an important point: BIGOTRY IS NOT RATIONALLY SELF-INTERESTED. This actually is a GOOD thing. It demonstrates that if you actually want to achieve your goals, then you shouldn't be prejudiced; you should judge people not by their ethnicity, sexual preference or biological sex or gender identity but rather the content of their character.

          Have you ever considered that people would be MUCH more interested in anti-bigotry activism if, instead of guilt-trip attacks scorning Evil Cis Het White Males and imputing upon them collective responsibility for rape/racism/sexism/anti-nonheterosexualism, the anti-bigotry movement appealed to their self-interest instead?

          The best piece of gay rights activism I have ever read was a pamphlet which stated how EVERYONE, INCLUDING Cis Het White Males, suffers due to anti-nonheterosexualism. It didn't screech about Dead White Men, it didn't label an entire group evil oppressive rapist jerks, it clearly pointed out WHY it is NOT in the interest of straight white males to discriminate against the non-straight.

          Instead of scorning EA, you should be pointing out the moral of the story here; EVERYONE PAYS THE PRICE FOR BIGOTRY. The members of the so-called "oppressor class" (Class Analysis is false methodology but I'll use the terms anyway) are screwed over by bigotry as well.

          Another useful moral of the story is that EA's conundrum shows that a private-sector, market-leaning economy is the enemy of social conservatism (in spite of what the Religious Right and the Neocons argue). After all, market-ish economies get most of their wealth from novelty and innovation; it is people willing to think outside the confines of tradition and superstition that are most likely to generate this novelty. How many of Silicon Valley's 70's/80's success stories were originally children of the 60's/70's counterculture? Quite a few, including Steve Jobs. As Richard Florida points out repeatedly, the "Creative Class" (innovators, entrepreneurs, researchers, artists, intellectuals etc.. the people responsible for innovation and novelty) are typically fond of cosmopolitan, diverse urban centers with a large 'bohemian' (countercultural) subpopulation. This is why Silicon Valley is located in California's Bay Area, in spite of the fact that California's business climate is shockingly inferior to Nevada and Texas (often, California companies are incorporated in Nevada to get around this problem... Apple was legally incorporated in Nevada).

          So yeah, perhaps instead of complaining about "evil selfish corporations," you should actually give some serious thought to the value of this teaching moment. It isn't a choice between White Het Cis Males and Everyone Else; rather, bigotry is against EVERYONE'S interest.

      I actually can think of some. But first, DISCLAIMER: I'm not against gay couples. In fact I strongly believe that they should go ahead and get married without waiting for the permission of the government, like religious people do. After all, your wedding and marriage is an act that's meaningful for you and those who care about you. The promises and vows you make you make them for yourself and your significant one as a expression of commitment and love not as the seal on a business contract.

      Now for my disagreement: The governmental benefits that heterosexual couples receive are NOT -as many seem to believe- some kind of award to both their beautiful love and normalcy. Seriously, it's the government we're talking about here; they just don't give a shit. The benefits are simply an encouragement to start popping out children and support to raise them as well as you can. One of the most understated terrors of any given country is a future without enough young people so endorsing the establishment of a family is a life-supporting mechanic of the government as head of the living body of society.

      So, I ask you, why should couples that by principle are incapable of fulfilling this task receive any benefits? I'm asking this as a single person that would see a law like that passing as /further punishment/ (because it's not already difficult, right?) for being single. We single people would be literally charged more for the simple reason of not having a significant other. How is that fair?

        "So, I ask you, why should couples that by principle are incapable of fulfilling this task receive any benefits?"

        Do heterosexual couples that can't have children because the guy is shooting blanks or the woman is infertile deserve benefits?

        They can go through IVF treatment to try and have kids and homosexual couples can adopt kids.

        I think gay and lesbians should be allowed to get married if they want and if a church does not want to marry them then that's there right to.

        The benefits your referring to are only received once a child is born. In fact, in Australia there are basically no benefits associated with marriage in isolation that an unmarried couple (regardless of social situation) aren't entitled to. However, letting gays marriage would provide recognition to their friends and family that they are in a committed relationship. Why should the Government prevent that?

        In the US, which is we're this law is enforced, the benefits have nothing to do with procreation. They relate to being able to inherit your partners stuff, adopt children if the other partner is killed, or make decisions about hospital treatment on behalf of their partner.

          @Daniel: I knew someone would pull the "what about hetero couples that can't/don't want to have kids?" argument but my post was already long enough not to be weighed down by pre-answering counter-arguments. The thing here, see, is that we are talking of blanket laws. Sure, those couples cannot contribute to their country what their country are basically paying them to do. But they are a small minority not big enough to warrant an exception to the law. Also, note that I said that I also believe that they should by all means get married if they want. I'm just against them getting benefits that weren't created for them.

          @Thom: Those are not exactly "benefits"; they are, rather, rights and duties established in a legal contract that is part of an official marriage. However, I'm pretty sure that you can get a very similar legal contract without getting married.

          As for "official" recognition for the people that care for you... why do you really think that you need the endorsement of a bureaucratic construct? I insist, people should just go ahead and get married. Religious people have been doing it since forever and if you ask them about the date of their wedding they will never tell you the one were they signed some papers in front of a bored lawyer, but rather the one when their beloved gathered together to see them get joined and make promises of commitment to each other. They will not need an "official" endorsement to believe that you are committed.

            "I’m just against them getting benefits that weren’t created for them."

            So your saying i am okay with them being treated equally as long as there not treated equally.

            Seems like you have a problem there, ill leave you to sort it out.

              Haha what a way to misinterpret me by using my words against me in different contexts. Nice try. However, it's quite clear that I'm all about equality for them as people. The difference I'm trying to establish is that they are /not equal/ in the eyes of the government and its benefit-handling hand as reproductive-capable couples.

              You are basically saying that because I believe that legless people shouldn't be handled athletic awards (non-paralympic ones, before you nitpick me,) I'm discriminating them.

      I think they should have equal rights but my only issue is in calling it marriage. Can't it just be a legal union ? That all lgbt people want right? Call it that and you get religious people off your back because your then not stepping on there beliefs and what the word marriage means to them as it is a religious word in the first place .

    don't believe in gay marriage, but i 'm all for someone getting tax benefits relegated to whom they choose to live with.

      It's discrimination though. People are given different rights based on their sexuality, and that's just wrong.

      Often people bring up the bible as a defence of marriage, but King Solomon had like 100 wives (and 300 concubines) and there's a tonne of other examples in there where it isn't one man one woman. It's ridonculous, half of the people quoting the bible haven't even read it.

        Bible is no defence.

        For 5000 years marriage has been man and a woman and all the benefits that followed.

        Mongolia is the only place that allowed mixed marriages (1 woman multiple men, they shared the woman)

        Not going about that, marriage as it stands is a man and a woman, that being said if a couple is co-habituating why should they not get next of kin, domestic status etc.

        Civil unions should be endorsed with similar benefits.

          For 5000 years racism and slavery has happened. Doesn't mean it's right.

          Dude - how the hell is that an excuse for not believeing in marriage between same sex partners?

          Slavery lasted a bloody long time too, but that changed for the betterment of humanity.

          Why should marriage not have the right to change and evolve just because it's been a certain way for a period of time?

            some things just dont seem right.

            Anyone who cites this as a human rights issue has to get off their high horse and understand it.

            It sickens me that billions of dollars and time is thrown at this issue claiming its a human right when millions of people still starve, are STILL in slavery and prostituted in places that people dont care about.

            This is just a trendy issue at the moment thats cool, i'd rather all this energy was put in bringing warlords to justice, freeing child prostitutes and feeding the starving.

            But no you think this 'human right' has more priority.

              It only costs billions of dollars because people like you keep on getting in the way and pushing back the process.

              Your move.

              don't... seem... right...?

              That's your entire argument? Seriously?

              It's about equality, and here in Australia we have huge amounts of things put in place to deal with starvation (centrelink ftw) and DOCS to protect children. And yet we still treat homosexuals as different.

              No different than not giving Aboriginals the right to vote 50 years ago. Doesn't matter what "seems right" to you, because to them it certainly "seems right".

              How the hell is it not a human rights issue?

              It's to do with what a group of society have the RIGHT to do. It affects THEIR RIGHTS.

              As Everblight said, it only costs so much because small minded fools such as yourself constantly pour even more money into stopping it.

              And to turn it around and say that it gets in the way of fighting slavery, starvation and prostitution is just ridiculous. It's just another crutch for people like you to lean on. The amount of money spent on campaigns like this are a paltry sum compared to most other things going on in the world. Get a clue - honestly.

              Let's make a tiny tweak there shall we?

              "Blacks marrying whites just doen't seem right.
              Anyone who cites this as a human rights issue has to get off their high horse and understand it.
              It sickens me that billions of dollars and time is thrown at this issue claiming its a human right when millions of people still starve, are STILL in slavery and prostituted in places that people dont care about.
              This is just a trendy issue at the moment thats cool, i’d rather all this energy was put in bringing warlords to justice, freeing child prostitutes and feeding the starving.
              But no you think this ‘human right’ has more priority."

              Reads a little different doesn't it.

              If you are sick of billions of dollars being "wasted", then blame the opponents of marriage equality. They are the reason so much money and time needs to be "wasted".

            Is it wrong I had a giggle at the thought of comparing marriage to slavery...

              No. No it's not.
              lol

                How about we fix some other more pressing problems first instead of what a minority considers to be a top issue.

                Anyone else here want to feed the starving first or end poverty?

                Apple donated over 40 million to advertising against prop 8, there was an article a while ago saying how 40 million could have built shelters, fed the starving in san francisco for 2 years.

                  Do you know how much Microsoft and Apple donate to charity...?

                  I assume you're straight and already have the right to choose whether or not you want to get married, so it's REALLY easy for you to say it's not a priority.

                  If your government was telling you that you were some kind of second class citizen who isn't good enough to get married, you might reconsider your priorities mate.

                  It is not a minority that thinks this is a top issue. Not to mention this is something that should have been fixed ages ago and is still somewhow resisting progress. Did you harp on about how a non-issue when gamers were pushing for an R18 rating? Are you aware that people are capable of multitasking and want more than just one agenda item pursued?
                  And I don't know where you are getting these ideas about who was allowing mixed marriages in the past. The ancient Romans and Greeks both allowed same sex marriage so I suggest you check your sources.
                  Are you aware that it is people like you that are the reason that companies are wasting money on advertising this issue? If this was dealt with logically in the first place, no one would be spending such money. Instead there is this ridiculous and backwards resistance and it has taken a lot of money to shout down your blatant stupidity.

          I can sort of see where you're coming from, but I think some translation issue type problems are popping up. When religious people say marriage, generally they mean 'christian marriage' or 'jewish marriage', and such. That's cool, people who follow those faiths can restrict themselves however they want. The problem is a lot of non-religious(or less institutionalised religious followers, even) say marriage and mean 'Civil union', where there is no religious stance in the picture. These days, marriage is two people, a wedding is the ceremony and religion is just one of many flavours or themes for the whole shebang. So long as the marriage laws don't force churches to change their faith rules, there should not be an issue. Government should be about facts, not faith (which is something I would hope we can all agree on, being civilized people of the modern world).

          I guess what I'm saying is you're on the old definition, and need to update the vocab - the new system works for everyone, if everyone is awesome.

          Of course, this would a reasonable post on the Internet from an atheist, so I have to finish with "HURR HURR DIE BELIEVER!!". Protocol, you know?

          What a complete crock. Can you provide some references for your sweeping statement?

          There are many written examples of same sex marriage in ancient Roman and Greek literature, and it was only outlawed when the Christians came to power. Before that time, marriage had virtually nothing to do with religion in either Greek or Roman cultures. As Christianity rose in popularity it claimed as its own a practice that had existed for several thousands of years before any of the Abrahamic religions existed, and often involved same-sex unions.

          The most prolific examples of ancient same-sex marriages are from China during the Ming Dynasty (roughly 1300-1600). It was common practice for females to enter marriage contracts with other females, and also male-male contracts were common. They were the same ceremonies and customs used for heterosexual relationships.

          So please, if you're going to hold fearful and bigoted opinions, at least let them be based on some kind of reality. However I think you'll find that once you open your eyes to reality you'll find your entire position rapidly falls apart.

      I think everyone needs to stop jumping down his throat over this. He has clearly stated that he would support a civil union that would be the gay equivalent of a marriage. One of the reasons it becomes such a polarizing issue is because everyone just has at each other when ever someone else has a differing opinion.

    If male/female marriage is so great, then how come 50% of marriages end in divorce, and the other 50% end in death!

      I wanna hug this guy!!!!!! In a totally hetero way! *ulp*

    I guess at the end of the day it's not about someone believing in gay marraige but more about believing in equality.

    The only reasons I hear for being against gay marriage are either religious based, tautologies, or bigoted.

    All three 'reasons' are illogical, which makes me want to slap politicians that stand behind them.

      Lol, you must have heard shallow debates about it, or choose to only listen to shallow debates. All the intellects against it quote 'natural law', where by the reasons we have benefits given to those married is because it's a balance between two genders and by extension protection given to the 'female' of the marriage. Having two men or t two women in a marriage makes absolutely no sense in 'natural law'.

      Therefore in order to fix this civil law problem, we should aim for complete gender equality first.

        I have heard plenty of political party members who are opposed to gay marriage, and have never heard a single one of them mention "natural law". They just hate faggots.*

        *Sorry if anyone finds that offensive, I am simply putting forward what I have specifically heard several times.

    Just go the other way and get rid of marriage for everyone.

    Dislike Marriage should only be between a man and woman only,.

    Treat others as you would want to be treated. As an equal.

      “I’m a collection of organic molecules called Carl Sagan"

    It's a little disappointing that whenever topics such as this are debated, they often descend into personal attacks. I would hope we can keep it pretty reasonable and respect the views of others. In any case, I thought I might throw my 2 cents into ring.

    Many of the concerns people seem to be stressing above have to do with ensuring equality. More than happy to be corrected on this, but i believe Australian law in all apsects ensures that people in gay (or defacto) relationships enjoy all the same benefits as married couples. If this is not the case, then it needs to be corrected immediately! However, I do not support 'gay marriage' as such. In my opinion, 'marriage' fundamentally is between a male and female. A pear is not an apple, a cat is not a dog. For me it comes down to the definition. While people in gay relationships are absolutely entitled to equality of rights, the relationship at its core should not be defined as a marriage for the reasons mentioned above. Call it anything else at all, but I just can't see why it should be called a marriage. Full disclosure: I am a also a bible-based Christian. Thanks for taking the time to read and happy to engage with any reasonable comments.

      So what's your opinion on divorce?

      The definition of marriage was changed to allow for divorces, something that allowed for women to escape from abusive relationships (and many other things happened because of that, both positive and negative).

      Changing the definition of marriage to not discriminate between genders does no harm to anyone. It's simple a fallacious appeal to tradition to say that marriage must remain between a man and a woman because that is the current definition.

      Equal rights means that homosexual and heterosexual couples are treated the same. Not allowing homosexual couples to get married is still discrimination even if you afford them every other right.

      No harm comes from gay couples marrying. Not letting them marry helps foster this idea that their relationships aren't equal to heterosexual relationships.

        You know, I don't think that's the case at all. That had no religious context whatsoever except that the Church of England was (dubiously) founded with the head of state also the head of the Church in order to facilitate divorce. It wasn't to allow people to escape abuse, it was to allow abuse by letting Henry VIII chop his wives' heads off.

        Hey Trjn. Thanks for the considered reply.
        As a blanket statement, I'm against divorce because the commitment of marriage is supposed to be for life (as per the vows). As a Christian, I believe divorce is fundamentally against God's intention of marriage, although divorce is also permissible in the bible in extreme circumstances, much like you mention - i.e. to allow women to escape from abusive relationships, for infidelity etc. For that reason, I believe it is completely reasonable (although unfortunate) that divorce occurs - but hey that's the world we live in. In short, divorce I believe divorce is a sad reflection of reality, but it is reality and completely necessary in some circumstances.
        I see what you're saying about the 'fallacious appeal to tradition', but to me it still seems like we are undermining a fundamental principal of society to change the very definition of marriage. It is an institution which has supported society for many thousands of years, and I believe there may be some serious consequences in changing it. You mention "no harm comes from gay couples marrying". In one sense you are very right, but in another sense I have to completely disagree. Changing the Marriage Act and the very definition of marriage will actually discriminate against other members of society - for example, overseas where amendments have been made to the definition of marriage, people have been prosecuted for openly declaring that they only believe marriage should be between a man and a woman. Freedom of speech may be at stake.
        Additionally, what happens to children who are raised in a gay relationship. To my understanding, they will have absolutely no recourse to find out who their true maternal and/or paternal family are as their names will be stricken from their birth certificates. To me, this seems like a very fundamental deprivation of human rights and discrimination.
        Perhaps these situations would not arise in Australia, but they very well could and must be considered thoughtfully and thoroughly. I believe that leaving the situation unchanged discriminates against no-one, although I can see that this may be a point we have to agree to disagree on.
        Thank you again for your comment. Happy to keep chatting.

          I do not see your examples of harm as being reasonable or likely.

          Being discriminated against for discriminating against homosexuals seems like a rather odd thing to be worried about. You're perfectly allowed to believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman but you can't demand that others follow those beliefs.

          Gay couples have been allowed to adopt and have surrogate children for a long while now. It has no impact on marriage and the situation you are describing applies just as much to straight couples who have taken the same action.

          Not allowing gay couples to have the same choices as straight couples is discriminatory. You're basically saying "you're equal, except for this thing. This thing is ours, you can't have it, but you're still equal, really."

          If you want more fun definitions of marriage, the Bible also demands that a woman who is widowed should marry her husband's brother. You can find more recent definitions of marriage that didn't allow for interracial couples. I have no qualms with changing the definition of marriage, it has happened many times in the past and will continue to happen.

          As a side note, the Bible only allows for divorce when someone is unfaithful:

          Matthew 5:32
          But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.

            Ahh but you wouldn't see those as being reasonable or likely because you're quite set on your position. Not saying that as a criticism, just as a fact. On the flip side, I'm convinced of my position - happy to engage in debate, but we share a fundamentally different worldview. But hey the evidence overseas certainly points to these sort of situations arising.

            Again I must say I think you are using incorrect statements. I'm not saying "you're equal except for this thing.." because the concept of marriage has always been defined in strictly heterosexual terms.

            You're quite correct in your quotation of Matthew 5:32. But it is also a reasonable position for a Christian to hold that divorce is acceptable in situations where there is an abusive partner.

              Hi Steve,
              Just letting you know that the legislative definition of marriage only included the reference to man and woman in 2004.
              I know this because I was just finishing my justice degree.
              I believe you are sincere in your arguments but unfortunately I see in your comments the broader idea of if we leave it like it is now, only homosexuals will be hurt by this. If we change the law, some other people might be hurt instead.
              I think this is poor form.

      Steve, Logic and unbiast opinion has not place on the internet.

        Haha, it sometimes seems like that :(

        There is no other side to this argument.
        You either support gay marriage because your a person with reasonable intelligence or you oppose it because your an idiot who can't stand anything different to what they understand.

        Thats it. We got the same arguments for slavery, for segregating minorities, for stopping rights for women and now we have the same dumb arguments being levelled at gay marriage. You aren't using logic and your opinion is certainly biased.

          Hard to talk with someone who holds the view "my opinion is right, so therefore yours is wrong", so I won't bother. Cheers.

    Despite everything that has been attached to marriage over the centuries, it is and has always been about breeding. Its a tool used by societies to ensure the future growth of their culture. Religion tried to turn it into something holy. Romantics tried to shape it into something wonderful and intimate. But at its heart, it has always been about producing more members of the tribe to ensure future strength. I want gays to enjoy the same rights as heterosexuals, but I dont want gay marriage. I dont want ANY marriage full stop. Its an archaic breeding licence issued by societal norms of the day. Get rid of it, and stop looking down upon people who choose not to breed.

    This is a fucking bullshit issue, really.
    I'm not pointing fingers, religion, but we're all the goddamn same. Black, gay, it doesn't make a bit of difference. We're all human, we all bleed, we all deserve the SAME RIGHTS. Denying any human being rights regardless of what they like or what they look like, based on some inane thousands of years old religious text is bullshit and it's hard to believe that in this day and age we are still tolerating this nonsense.

    Look, religion is fine, okay? You can believe what you want, that God created mankind and wrote the book himself (and really isn't that what all religions boil down to?), but when you start denying OTHER people rights, fuck you. You don't have that right, nobody does. Everyone deserves the same rights and respect. That's all there is to it.

    Sure, you might argue that marriage is a religious concept and that at the very least, religion should be able to choose who gets married. But this isn't 2000 years ago: marriage has changed. Marriage is less about God these days and more about people who love each other a whole lot wanting to show the world that they do. Alternatively, it's about marrying people who are richer than you so you get half their money when you divorce. Or it's about celebrities trying to get famous after their 15 minutes are up.

    Those last two examples are awful, but there's absolutely nothing awful about people who love each other getting married, and I don't see why a completely irrelevant thing like sexuality or gender should stop them, or have them being denied basic human rights.

    Its going to happen eventually, no one can stop it, just sit back and let it happen haha the avalanche ball is way to big now. think about the next issue to hit us soon - surrogacy. in australia it has been said by the church to some women that 'if you were meant to have kids, god would have made you that way' which i fell over laughing when i read that. soon and even now, women and couples are being denied the real basic human right to have kids of their own, adoption is expense and it is illegal to have surrogacy done over seas. haha people need to not be so scared of things that they dont understand

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