Replace the Marriage Act 1961 with a Civil Unions Act
They shouldn’t have, but now it’s too late, it means a lot to many people now so The Marriage Act needs to stay as The Marriage Act, or at least have the word “Marriage” in it to recognise that the Government has taken on the task of determining (in law) who is “married” and who is not (not who is civil unioned or not). If they relinquish this task of controlling marriage in law then that is not fair to all those who have missed out “marriage” when marriage was still something they offered.
Agree 1000% and this point is being severely under-marketed.
The flip side, is that there are certain legal implications to a union of two people that may be rendered more simple in law by a formal declaration that you are indeed a couple. This is a civil union, and it’s legally more clear than defacto assumptions.
These implications should be determined and stamped out without relying on Marriages or Civil Unions. If De-facto is not clearly defined then it needs to be, because what is clear is that we can no longer rely on Marriage (or Civil Unions) to act as a clear indicator of “who is a couple”.
Many long term committed couples are no longer getting married at all in this modern age, and we can’t rely on them to register their relationship for legal purposes.
“Marriage” a determination of relationship status was a simple/crude solution to social problems in a bygone and primitive era. For Example, before DNA tests “marriage” could be very useful tool to assume paternity of a child is the husband by making it taboo for the woman to sleep anyone else.
Thankfully personal freedom and liberty has gained traction and arrangements like FWBs, Swinging, Co-parenting and just plain old long-term couples who never actually “tied the knot” are quickly becoming commonplace. (Which by the way, goes against so many religious values, but it’s not up to Religious Institutions to force onto everyone else anymore, and that’s the reality of what’s really happening in Australia. Marriage is essentially obsolete to many couples).
From a more practical sense for the party, Marriage Equality in The Marriage Act is going to happen eventually (even after this current government stalls it for as long as possible, it will come in a future government), and if we still have a policy that is still calling for Civil Union after this already happens, it will make us look unaccepting of Same-sex/ couples who got what they wanted (full blown Marriage rights), but we are bitter and would want to take that landmark win in recognition away from them. (which is probably not true knowing that the Policy was written before SSM, and also denies their landmark win).
It’s kind of like Mabo (Native Title Act) which is a landmark case for Aboriginals to recognise the aboriginal system of land ownership as valid in the eyes of the law.
It would be like the Pirate Party making a policy that Aboriginal land ownership should not be recognised in Law because that would be legitimising Australian Law, when they should not be subject to Australian Law because they are here first.
Maybe that’s a point, but I guarantee that you would upset a lot of people by taking away the recognition which they worked so hard for to achieve.
Even if it’s a law that the government should not have power over we still need to make it fair, but just remove the overreach of power in it.