...Right-faction powerbroker Joe De Bruyn said marriage had been the union of a man and a woman ''since the dawn of humanity''...
...The Australian Christian Lobby reacted swiftly to the resolution, saying the party - in defiance of Ms Gillard - had chosen to be on the "wrong side of truth".
These comments by Joe de Bruyn in 2011 piqued my interest. As I’ve written here before, marriage is, in my view, an institution of the law that seeks to subjugate women. In a related context, in my view, it is a relationship concerning property. Yet there is a very strong notion that marriage is so much more than this.
I have no opinion on private or religious views of marriage within the context of religious practice or how one chooses to celebrate it with one’s family and friends. My interest lies in the legal construction of this private relationship – and de Bruyn’s comments, as with all comments in the same-sex marriage debate, occur in the context of law-making.
So I’ve been doing a little reading into the context of marriage and its regulation by the law. I’ve a long way to go in learning about this complex institution, but even a preliminary overview provides some interesting contrast to the bluster of the political debate.
Is it true that marriage has been between a man and a woman since the dawn of humanity? If you consider this as a moral or religious question, it need not enter the legal debate. In the context of the law, I think that this is the wrong question. I think that the right question is: since when has the law been so certain about its role in marriage, and in what circumstances?