Same-sex marriage: what is a top priority to legislate marriage equality law
By Jiin Park
The same-sex marriage is one of the worldwide issues in recent years. The media constantly deals with the issues about the same- sex marriage and we can easily receive the media coverages which are about the same-sex marriage around us. While the media has been reporting a lot of articles which are related to the same-sex marriage issue everyday, each media coverage is written in clearly different perspectives because the issue is closely connected with many social issues such as religious issues and political issues and the public’s opinion is divided by pros and cons. The two opinion pieces about the same-sex marriage will be discussed. Both opinion pieces are basically about the same topic, however, the opinion pieces are written in different point of views and focusing on different social issues which are related to the same-sex marriage.
The first opinion piece is “The same-sex marriage debate and the right to religious belief” written by Paul Kelly of The Australian and the second opinion piece is “Major parties should cast aside internal party squabbles and work together for marriage equality” written by Alex Greenwich of The Daily Telegraph.
The first opinion piece is about the correlation between the marriage equality and the right of religious belief. The first opinion piece is written from social and religious perspective. The second opinion piece is approaching to the issue differently. It is focusing on the political angle toward the issue, dealing with the content how the government has treated the same-sex marriage issue. Although the two pieces are focusing on different social issues which are related to the same-marriage issue, the both authors of two opinion pieces have a same social perspective and agree with legalization of the same-sex marriage. Moreover, they both strongly express their suggestions about the issue. Two authors mutually suggest a few things – people, especially people who are in the political world, should seriously and carefully treat the same-sex marriage issue and try to figure out what the fundamental and ideological elements of the marriage equality.
The first opinion piece “The same-sex marriage debate and the right to religious belief” is obviously written in Kelly’s the positive outlook toward the same-sex marriage. The primary claim of the first opinion piece are the same-sex marriage issue is not seriously handled. Another primary claim is the harmony between religious right and human right, especially the freedom of the marriage is necessary to get the best answer for the debate about the same-sex marriage issue and the government does not consider the both positions to make a law for the same-sex marriage. Both primary claims are evaluative claim which appeals to social norm and consequences. As an opinion piece, in the piece, Kelly keeps appealing the two main claims which are his assertions.
Kelly’s first primary claim “the same-sex marriage issue is not seriously handled” is explicitly indicated. Kelly briefly mentions what the actual issues which are related to the same-sex marriage are, using the direct terms such as “the central issue” and “the real issue” in the first paragraph. The first claim is clearly indicated in the second last paragraph as well – “The politicians are not serious about this issue and neither is the media.” He defines the central issue is “invisible” which is negative term and means people’s ignorance about the issue. It makes the readers easily find what the main claim means. In addition, the detail explanation after the central issue helps the readers’ understanding about the primary claim. The following sentences from the first piece support the central claim.
“It seems to this point that none of the proposals for same-sex marriage or related policy prescriptions are satisfactory laws for passage by the Australian parliament.”
“As the years advance there has been –virtually no debate about the real issues surrounding same-sex marriage”
“Yet the majority media reaction to this situation — “let’s get on with the change” — is ignorant and irresponsible”
“Wilson advanced two propositions that shatter the haze of misinformation and emotion that surrounds this issue.”
Especially, quoting the interview of Tim Wilson who is Human Rights Commissioner explicitly support the first primary claim because Wilson has same perspective with Kelly and as Human Rights Commissioner, Wilson’s interview is strong and more effective.
Kelly directly reveals his negative view about the politicians’ actions, criticizing the politicians’ actions. He says “The politicians will protest but their protests are worthless,” and “The politicians are not serious about this issue and neither is the media.” He clearly represents his negative view for the first primary claim. The term “worthless” emphasises Kelly against the political treat which is not seriously concerning for the same-sex marriage.
On the other hand, Kelly does not explicitly reveal the second primary claim. The primary claim of the second opinion piece is the harmony between religious right and human right, especially the freedom of the marriage is necessary to get the best answer for the debate about the same-sex marriage issue and the government does not consider both positions to make a law for the same-sex marriage. which is evaluative argument. However, it is also classified as factual argument, having a few evidences to support the author’s central argument. He implies his second primary claim in the whole content of his opinion piece.
Kelly keep mentioning the position of religious organisations which is bitterly oppose to the same-sex marriage. The use of the term “tolerance” assumes people who support the same-sex marriage and religious organization should understand and respect each other’s right and position toward the issue.
The following sentence from the second piece represents the second primary claim “the government does not consider the both positions to make a law for the same-sex marriage.”
“where marriage equality is delivered by court decision, religious liberty is not protected.”
Kelly also phrases as a question such as “Must religious colleges provide married housing to same-sex couples?” to highlight his ideas which is related to religious perspective. The readers can assume what Kelly wants to tell them as interpreting the questions.
As a worldwide issue, Kelly uses the decision of US supreme court for the same-sex marriage issue as an example. Comparing US supreme court’s decision, he criticize the government’s action and finds what the actual problems are.
The second opinion piece is Major parties should cast aside internal party squabbles and work together for marriage equality” written by Alex Greenwich of The Daily Telegraph. It is written in positive perspective like Kelly’s opinion piece. He is explicitly state his position saying “we could have marriage equality now” in the third paragraph.
Alex focuses on political aspect for the same-sex marriage. He claims the government does not focus on the same-sex marriage issue and they are in confusion to lead the legal problems about the issue. It is evaluative argument but it is also factual argument. Alex reports the present political situation to support his claim.
In Alex’s piece, we can notice that Alex strongly express his suggestions with the sentences which are written in a commanding tone.
“All should be focused on working together towards a result and not be distracted by the others internal party manoeuvres.”
“To achieve reform we need as many Labor votes as possible, a Coalition free vote, and the support of as many crossbenchers as possible.”
In the seventh paragraph, Alex directly criticizes Labor party’s action.
“Labor can’t say they are the party of marriage equality when they have MPs voting and campaigning against it.”
Compared to the first opinion piece, tin the second piece, there are more suggestions and Alex tries to express his clear suggestions for the same –sex marriage issue to make the readers easily understand his suggestions.
In 2013, Kevin Rudd proudly announced that he supports the same-sex marriage in his first news conference. The two opinion pieces are based on this situation and that is the reason why both articles are connected with the politics and the authors strongly represent their suggestions for the government’s next action for the issue of the same-sex marriage.
The ultimate goal of the two pieces is to arouse the readers that the same-sex marriage issue is not just a simple issue. To achieve this goal both pieces constantly mention the interrelation between the issue and the certain social fields. What we can assume is two authors based on the human’s right to marry with the person they love and looked forward to people’s tolerance for each other.