Tuesday, 8 May 2012

human rights meditations: week 16

Rainbow Wedding Bands Art Print
Rainbow Wedding Bands Art Print by Ashley @ Fine Day Press.
Available on etsy.

Welcome to Week 16 of Human Rights Meditations. Each week we’re looking at an Article in the United Nation's Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Learn more about the series here. This series is way more about the time that you spend reflecting, and engaging in the discussion via comments below & twitter (hash tag #hrmlak), so get that thinking cap on!

This week we’re looking at Article 16 of the UDHR.

Article 16: (1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution. (2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses. (3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

Read over the article above a few times and let it sink in (this is a long one, so you may want to break it up as you reflect). As you reflect, consider the following:
·          What's the first picture that came to your mind?
·          How did you respond to what you read?
·          Reflect how you feel about yourself in comparison to others.
·          Reflect on how you perceive others in your world. 
·          Reflect on your understanding of global issues.

Write the article down and stick it somewhere where you know you'll see it throughout the week. This will prompt you to keep the thinking going! Alternatively, write down something that has stood out to you throughout this meditation.  

Now, get talking! Let's talk openly about our thoughts on each article, what we're learning about ourselves and some of the actions we're taking to live more in line with the Declaration. Don't forget that as well as chatting via the comments below, you can get talking via twitter by including this tag: #hrmlak

I'll go first:

  • The whole issue of legalising Gay Marriage... Seriously. I can not believe that Australia hasn't done this already! It makes me SOOOOOOO angry! You know what makes me the most angry of all? That the Australian law didn't explicitly say that marriage was restricted to being "between a man and a woman" until our past PM, the one and only John Howard, led parliament in changing the marriage act to include this. For those not in Australia, Howard came into power in 1997! 
  • Another thing that grinds me is that we even call it "gay" marriage, like it's something new and different that we're talking about. It's not different. It's exactly the same as "straight" marriage. It's about two consenting adults making an informed choice to commit to one another. This isn't about a slippery slope. We're not talking anything new. We're not talking about marrying children or goats. (And while we're at it, I'm appalled that this is the basis of such a perspective!)
  • The issue of marriage & religion: It's safe to say that marriage has, largely, shifted from a religious institution to a legal one. The vast majority of those who marry today do so under law, rather than the church. Forget the argument about the high rate of "Straight Divorce", the simple fact that most marriages are not based on religious beliefs is enough to debunk this reason for excluding same sex relationships from this right.  

Kate xx

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