The last person you would come to for election advice would be a marriage celebrant, but in my other life I dabble in the news game, and the federal election is on my radar.
So here’s how the 2013 federal election will affect weddings into the future:
Pass go, collect $200
The Australian Christian Lobby recently quizzed political parties on different issues, including family and marriage.
The Liberal National coalition pledged $200 to couples that are being married and submit their notice of intent:
The Coalition will provide a $200 voucher to all couples when they register their intention to marry, which will be redeemable on an approved marriage education, counselling or parenting skills service. Couples can use this voucher before or after their wedding to choose the service that best suits their needs, be it one which assists in developing communication skills, conflict resolution, financial management, parenting skills, or for counselling services if problems arise in a marriage.
Gay about marriage
The other pressing issue coming into the federal election is same-sex marriage.
The simple side of who supports what is this:
- A Labor government will allow their members of parliament to vote independently of the party, which officially does not support same-sex marriage. Many Labor MPs do however support it.
- A Liberal National government will not allow its members, regardless of the fact that many members and candidates support it, to vote outside of the party position, detailed below.
The Coalition policy supports the current definition of marriage contained in the Marriage Act. Any change to the policy would be a matter for the Party Room in the future, as is the case with all policies. Tony Abbott supports the existing definition of marriage.
Of course married couples are humans, citizens, employers and employees as well, and there are hundreds of policies that directly affect you in other ways, but these two policy positions directly affect people wanting to be engaged. Currently there are approximately 33,000 people in Australia that cannot marry, if they want to.
The issue of same-sex marriage is important to me because homosexual people, our friends, brothers, sisters, family members, and maybe even you, are treated differently in society, they are bullied, teased, and thought less of. Same-sex marriage won’t solve this problem, but it’s a good starting point.
Many celebrant associations and clubs will also tell you that the issue of an ongoing celebrant fee and requirements of ongoing professional development, are important issues. I don’t rate them as vote-changers. If legislation is introduced that makes sure that you get a better celebrant, then I’m all for it.