Letter From Planet Earth: Gay Marriage

Dear Gzorgax,

I should really write more often. How is your planet going? What’s it like having three suns? Is Gzorgax a common name in Gliese 667 or were you teased growing up? Anyway, as you may know, people are getting pretty steamed up about this whole gay marriage thing here on Earth’s sunniest, funniest nation, Australia.

About two thirds of Australians now support equal marriage rights for same sex couples, although apparently it’s still highly traumatic for most parents who discover they have gay children. I guess people use most of their everyday emotional largesse on complete strangers and reserve their special inhumanity for those they love.

The argument against gay marriage is pretty unimpeachable: allowing marriage between a man and a man or a woman and a woman would change the definition of marriage. If there’s one thing this culture is enthusiastic about finding awful, it’s words that change meaning over time — like culture, enthusiastic, awful and all other words. The queer thing is that people are quite gay about changing the meaning of most words about human relationships, just not marriage. Random.

So the thing that has people, especially religious people, so mad is that you can’t just come along and legally change the definition of marriage. Well not again anyway, not since it was last changed by religious people. Judaism and Islam changed what marriage meant from a perfectly good institution used to allow females to be traded as commodities within and between tribes, to some crap about one man and several woman under God’s love — which, depending on your mood, sounds either saccharine, or kinky; while I’m on it saccharin should mean a sugar substitute and kinky should mean it has bends in it. Then Christians came along and ruined some of the fun and said it had to be one man, one woman, under one god. In fact Christians seem obsessed with the idea of only having one of each thing at a time — it’s like they’re playing relationship sudoku.

Meanwhile our Labor government will allow its members to take a conscience vote on the issue later this year. A conscience vote is when members of the House are given special dispensation to vote on an issue according to what they believe is right and virtuous. You can see why this is an unusual event. Ordinarily our elected representatives who are paid to serve the populous are strongly discouraged to acknowledge, or possess, a conscience.

Personally I’m actually hoping for a tightening of the definition of marriage even further, so that it allows me to marry myself. Maybe Christians will see that as a natural extension of their views and let me do it.

Yours earthily,


This article originally appeared in Woroni in 2012.

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