Western Australian state Liberal member of the Upper House Nick Goiran has compared the need to prevent same-sex couples from marrying to the need to stop half-siblings from marrying in a bizarre speech.
‘The intricacies that arise when Ethan and Stephanie want to marry are innumerable,’ Goiran said, refering to a fictional half-brother and half-sister who wanted to marry.
‘Some intricacies are measurable however the genetic combinations are not measurable. When this couple decide to have children they are, in essence, playing Russian roulette with recessive traits and birth defects.
‘The amount of time they will spend in hospital with their sick child is measurable. The immeasurable complications come with the results and family dynamics of a brother and sister marrying and of course, the question has to be asked: what would happen if the relationship were to end in divorce?’
Goiran did not explain what this had to do with same-sex couples being allowed to marry, but continued.
‘The key to a happy marriage is to create and keep building a story between husband and wife,’ Goiran said.
‘Like any really good story there will be times of joy and times of sorrow and difficulty which makes one even more appreciative of the joyful times.
‘I suggest that we protect the meaning of marriage to mean that the union of one man and a woman to the exclusion of all others voluntarily entered into for life.
‘If we are going to be serious about strengthening society then we have to get real and uphold traditional marriage, not blur the lines, water it down and make a significant change to the foundational unit of society.’
Even Rupert Murdoch owned Perth Now declared the speech bizarre in its headline.
Australian Marriage Equality spokesman Ivan Hinton told GSN that Goiran’s comments would be offensive to many in the community.
‘The proposed change to the legislation is strictly framed to enable two consenting, unrelated adults, regardless of gender to be legally married,’ Hinton said of plans to allow same-sex couples in Australia.
‘To compare the relationships of these Australians with incestuous relationships is personally hurtful and can only be viewed as offensive to most Australians. No country that has achieved marriage equality have found themselves tripping down the slippery slope and, frankly, to suggest that continued prejudice against same-sex relationships is the primary factor preventing chaos is illogical and unfounded.'
Hinton said sentiments like Goiran’s were often aired by opponents of equality.
‘The same arguments were made when societies were debating interracial marriages and, today, we know the basis of those arguments was blind prejudice,’ Hinton said.
‘Where we do agree with Nick Goiran is the pursuit of strengthening society. Allowing same-sex couples to marry won't weaken the marriages of others. What it will do is make our society more inclusive. It will provide greater stability for children already living in same-sex households and improve the life experience of gay Australians and their broader families. It will, for the first time, include them in a life story that most take for granted.'
Hinton said that Goiran’s comments only showed how nasty things would get if a referendum were held on the issue – which in itself would not change Australia’s Marriage Act.
‘Nick Goiran's comments only reinforce the risks associated with holding a referendum on marriage equality,’ Hinton said.
‘Very quickly we'd find ourselves facing a fear campaign based arguments of incest, polygamy and bestiality.
‘The campaign for marriage equality has always been, and should remain, as the pursuit of recognition of the enduring love of two Australians who, if not for discrimination within the law, would aspire to marry.’
Earlier this month Australian Marriage Equality released polling that showed that marriage equality was is number one civil rights issue for young voters with only education and cost of living issues rating higher.