I was just looking through the offbeat bride and was reminded that according to the Marriage Act 1961 our celebrant is obliged to say some crap about how, in Australia, marriage is a legally binding blah blah between a MAN AND A WOMAN to the exclusion of all others.
Now, I don't. agree. with. this. at. all.
It completely contravenes my feelings regarding love, people, and the notion that the heart knows no gender boundaries, and that marriage should be a right for all regardless of sex or sexual identity. It is at odds with everything I am trying to raise my children to understand - that laws do not dictate love (within reason: we're not talking child brides here, peoples - but then, I tend to think of this as something that is the product of religion more so) so I am at a bit of a loss as to how to circumvent this problem in our ceremony.
I'm not at all comfortable with the exclusive nature of the Australian Marriage Act.
Currently I'm trying to get my head around how I, as a feminist, can not only endorse, but actively engage in something that effectively deliniates one group of society from another, based on something as arbitrary as who they love. Not sexual preference, but love. Because to me, that's what it ultimately boils down to: N and I have (gloriously) realised that we are at a point in our relationship where we've decided, that "yeah, this is it, and it's awesome" and others, who also reach this point, cannot (legally) express this in the same fashion.
Kind of rough, isn't it?
Further, associated with marriage are all sorts of patriachal symbols that I wish to thoroughly disown. I've thought about this somewhat, though, we can condemn the symbols that oppress us, or we can reclaim them, call them our own and effectively repurpose them to represent what we want. It's the same logic I use with my frequent use of very naughty swear words.
Thus, marriage becomes not about possession and submission, but rather, strengthening and sharing the bonds of love, not just with each other, but with everyone else - friends and family alike. And I suppose that's why my family and N's family are overjoyed that we're doing this - (in my mother's words, "about bloody time") because then they too can join in (join hands? Figuratively speaking, NOT literally) and say something along the lines of "hey this makes me really happy".
I just don't like that it's so damned exclusive. And so, I continue to voice my discontent.
So, apart from blathering on about how I never planned a wedding, never dreamt of my wedding day, never envisioned myself getting married (when we played weddings at school, I was the celebrant, when we played mums and dads, I was the crazy aunty that visited occasionally from some far off corner of the world and bought the most AWESOME gifts - and wore funny hats)... and have even outwardly stated that "I don't think I'll ever get married"... but, you know, like in that Ms Jackson song, "forever never seems like a long time till you're wrong".
Mind you, I'm quite happily wrong about this.