As nations around the world continue to grapple with a host of innumerable challenges in all facets of societal life, a rising, contentious and provocative issue currently confronting leaders and the public is that of interracial relationships/marriage.
The eventual acceptance and legalisation process of interracial relationships has already occurred in several states in America, two provinces in Canada, the Netherlands and also the UK.
This public interest issue thus begs the question: To what extent should the Government get involved? Again, if the Government does become involved, what are some of the implications and unintended consequences that may ensue? One thing for sure, even though interracial relationships may incorporate human rights and equality issues, established cultural and religious tradition of marriage pose a major hurdle to circumvent. In response, the corpus of all the mainline diverse religious bodies, from Catholicism, Islam, Hindus, Presbyterians, Baptists, Pentecostals, and other religious groups have made their pronounced positions.
These religious bodies have all expressed that they do not harbour hatred, animosity or discrimination, but their hope is that their spiritual love and human care will hopefully help these minority groups to see a difference.
Religious freedom at risk for all nationals
Some proponents of interracial have argued that in the event of marriage being redefined, the Catholic church and other religious communities will be “protected” or “exempted” from being required by law to perform interracial marriages. Such proposals may fail to understand the immensely powerful role and influence of the law in our society.
Changing the Marriage Act would, in practice, compel Catholics and other faith communities to recognise and accept interracial marriage in their schools, charities, social welfare, health care and adoption services. It would also threaten the right of religious communities who believe in marriage to live, teach and publicly practice their belief that marriage is a union of a white man and a white woman.
While it is very dangerous to be discriminatory, critical or condemnatory of this group of fellow nationals, there ought to be very careful deliberation and extensive consultation by the Government in this matter. If the Government were to eventually accede and legalised the same, what effect will it have on education, homes, national security and a myriad of other related issues?
Thus it behooves this PP Government not to act hastily or prematurely to endorse or legislate, but to seriously consider the views of the electorate, and encouraging a measured public debate on the nature and meaning of marriage.
Based on: Don’t act hasty on same sex marriages