I have been listening to “ RN Breakfast - Politics ” the reports surrounding the Australian Government parties and the non-debate on Same-Sex Marriage.
Marriage, as we knew it, started thousands of years ago. Long before I was born. The time might have been about the time of the dawn of the agricultural age – say the end of the last ice-age, about twelve thousand years ago – or it might have been before that. I’m not talking monogamous mating here, but some form of witnessed contract, written or otherwise, that identified two people publicly making a vow to stick together come what may.
That is Marriage as it was around the time the prayer-book of 1162 was published. Marriage as it was around the time my great-grandparents , whoever they were, married. Marriage as it was around the time my parents married. Marriage between a human form with an X-Chromosome and a human form with a Y-chromosome. Also known as a man and a womb-man, or vice-versa. I never could keep the “x”s and “y”s straight, except in algebra classes.
The point being that a legal marriage was a contract between two people of the opposite sex, with the stated view of being a pair of people who would, ahem, hook up in a manner of speaking and produce a third person, and a fourth, and a fifth.
You are familiar with this traditional view of marriage between people of the opposite sex, where opposite sex meant the biological ability to produce a third body with either an X- or a Y-chromosome.
Now same-sex marriage thinks it has upset the apple-cart by allowing two people to establish a contract , with the stated view of being a pair of people. Period. Who may or may not adopt a parenting role to a baby or child. Who will establish a home, which is shared space in a house, and share expenses and probably various domestic duties such as pairing up socks as they tumble out of the clothes-dryer.
Here is the real problem: As long as a marriage contract was based on people of the opposite sex, it was, by its binary definition, a contract between two people.
Now the definition can be expanded to be a contract between three people. Or four. Or More.
Once you remove the stark binary contrast (“I’ve got one of these, and you’ve got one of those”) and settle for the non-contrast (“We’ve each got one of those”), you can apply the word “each” to any number of people. As in “We’ve each got a boarding pass, all four hundred of us”.
So marriage now becomes more of an economic plan than ever. Shared rent, distributed expenses and pooled and diluted incomes.
I have no idea how long it will take for the Income Tax people to come to terms with this.