Marriage

ASP Policy on Marriage

Throughout the course of human history, the act of marriage has taken on so many diverse forms that you would be hard pressed cataloguing the many varied rites and rituals, laws and traditions, standards and expectations that governed such affairs. Only in modern times have governments sought to officially legislate on the age old human tradition of marriage.

Marriage was for the longest time an act that was a matter for religious rites, tribal traditions, or otherwise cultural customs.  Very rarely was marriage ever the subject of official government (in its many forms) rulings.  Governing regimes over the ages have always respected a marriage as valid if it was conducted according to the various traditions of the day, being socially accepted and recognised by the community.

In today’s day and age, and under the current laws, there are two distinct aspects to “Marriage”.  The first aspect is that of a cultural and or religious ceremony or observance, some of which whose origins may extend thousands of years into antiquity. The second aspect is that of government legislated formal legal recognition of a marriage or union, and all the trappings, regulations, benefits and or otherwise conventions entailed by such laws.

It is the view of the Australian Sovereignty Party that government has no business being involved in marriage whatsoever, whether to regulate it, define it, manage it, incentivise it or otherwise exert any level of control over it.  Under ASP policy, marriage will be viewed and regulated in the following two ways:

1. The religious or symbolic side of marriage

The religious, cultural, ethnic, customary or traditional ceremonial or symbolic aspect of a marriage will remain just that, symbolic!  There shall be no law to define what constitutes a valid marriage ceremony, as it remains no more than a ceremony undertaken by consenting parties of any gender and or sexual orientation, that only has meaning or significance within the context of their own religious or cultural convictions.

This aspect of “marriage” has nothing to do with government, but is a personal affair only. Consenting parties of any gender that wish to be married or otherwise symbolically united may do so, and may have any religious institution as is willing to preside over ceremonial functions as may be desired, or may choose to have no ceremony at all.

True freedom of religion and of association will be preserved under this model.  If for example a Christian, Jewish, or Islamic denomination or institution does not wish to preside over a “marriage” ceremony between two men, that is the right of these institutions to refuse.  In fact, it will remain the enduring right of ANY organisation or religious institution to refuse to participate and or recognise a union between any two or more parties as these institutions deem inappropriate to unite.

Two men, or women seeking to be symbolically married may do so at any other institution or organisation as is willing to preside over such ceremonies. Additionally, the consenting parties may devise their own ceremony along any newly created or old symbolic or religious rite as takes their fancy in the process of being “married”.  If a person of a particular religious conviction does not believe another person’s form, rite or custom of marriage ceremony is valid and legitimate, they are free to express their thoughts peacefully, but ultimately, it is none of their business what other people do.   No person’s rights shall be infringed upon.

2. The Legal side of marriage.

When two people of a sound mind and of a legal age, consensually and willingly enter into a union, it is ASP policy that it should only be a matter of the parties freely signing an equity law / common law civil contract that defines the conditions of their union.  

It is entirely up to the individuals involved as to what they choose to include, or not include in their union contract, such as a monogamy requirement, sharing and ownership of assets, conditionalities pertaining to conjugal relations, other conditions or actions that would be a violation of contract including penalties such as forfeiture of assets to other parties, conditions for divorce or otherwise release from contractual obligations, etc. This aspect is not too dissimilar from pre-nuptial agreements, and has nothing whatsoever to do with the government.

The parties may also choose not to have any enforceable common law civil contract to define their union, in which case neither party shall enjoy any legally enforceable protections or rights in respect to their union, their assets or otherwise.

The government has no business being involved in this contract at all, or dictating who can or cannot enter such a union, or what conditions are included or excluded and agreed upon in such contractual unions. The law should only become involved as it relates to the enforcement of civil law contract obligations between the parties who willingly and of sound mind entered into said contract, and where any breeches of contract may wish to be prosecuted through the civil law courts.

Insofar as children may be concerned, both the biological father and mother of a child shall enjoy equal rights over the child, and equal responsibility for their care, regardless of the legal contractual status of union or lack thereof between the two biological parents, unless otherwise mutually agreed upon and specified in a contract.

 

The Rationale for our policy

It is important that this policy position be viewed in the context of the ASP tax and monetary policies being implemented.  One of the primary reasons that government has sought to legislate on marriage relates to the application of welfare, family tax benefits and pensions.

As such, whilst there may be need for a period of grace whilst the economy transitions to the ASP system, our tax and monetary policies will so profoundly alter the Australian economy for the better, help to foster an environment where true 100% employment is a strong likelihood, and where individuals and families will be far better off financially, the need for welfare payments to families will largely become a thing of the past.

Because of these conditions, and the abolition of the current tax code, it effectively makes much of the existing law regarding government recognition of marriage redundant.  It should be of no concern to government what free individuals’ do, who decides to get “married”, and what conditions they willingly choose to bind themselves to via a common law contract. 

The only position the government needs to hold in respect to marital unions, and to families, regardless of their composition, is that if a unified couple or a family is in a position of financial hardship for whatever reason, that an appropriate determination be made on a case per case basis for temporary welfare assistance, which can come in the form of a job guarantee for one or more of the “spouses”, rental assistance, some “food and basic necessities allowance” etc. 

This assistance can be determined by a welfare officer upon application by one or more of the partners to a civil law union, and all factors will be taken into consideration, such as their work situation in income, their health, the number and age of their children if any, and any other relevant information.  Whilst there will be general guidelines that limit the maximum level of welfare a union/ family can receive, this welfare will not be based on a one size fits all approach as is the current case, and any welfare should be of a temporary nature, with the goal of getting this union/family back into financial self-sufficiency via employment opportunities.

"So far as pensioners are concerned, as per our Pensioner Policy, the pension rate will increase to $1200 per fortnight per individual. Married senior couples who rely on senior pensions, they can each keep their full pension. There will be no reduction of pensions for each partner to a union. This is further reason why it is unnecessary to maintain official government marriage registries".

 

POINTS TO NOTE:

  • This policy is fair to everyone.  It does not discriminate, as it effectively revolves around the abolition of the Marriage Act 1961 and all its amendments.  The overall idea is that government has no business being involved in the private affair of marital unions, regardless of what form they take, or who wishes to enter the union comprising of two people.
  • Any desire for dissolution of a union (ie; divorce) would be treated as per all other civil law contracts, by mutual agreement or where necessary, via civil law courts that would make a judgement taking into consideration the provisions of the particular union contract, and any other relevant circumstances.
  • Freedom of religion is respected. Religious institutions are treated equally and fairly. All religious institutions have the right to participate, or to refuse to participate in any “ceremonial” functions so far as marriages are concerned.  Religious institutions are also free to “not recognise” any marriage or union they deem contradictory to their faith.  This is purely a matter of religious freedom and freedom of speech.  Beyond any peaceful expressions of disapproval, and their denial of religious or ceremonial rites to would-be married couples, there is nothing religious institutions can do to prevent a couple from entering into the civil legal aspect of their union via their becoming willing signatories to a civil law contract.
  • As per standard common or civil / equity contract laws, a contract is considered null and void if one of the parties to a contract is or was unwilling to sign, or did not have a proper understanding of the provisions in the contract.  For the union contract to be valid, each party to the contract must be of legal age of consent, must correctly understand all the provisions laid out in the contract, and with no coercion must willingly and freely sign contract.  Therefore, there can be no “forced” marriages. Any attempt at forcing a union without the full willing consent of one party would be considered a crime, particularly if non-consensual sex was engaged in.
  • There will be no need for official government recognition of a union, as it is not their business.  Virtually all rational for existing government marriage registries will become redundant under ASP economic policies, particularly in respect to the application of welfare.
  • So far as inheritance rights are concerned, it is a simple matter for those provisions being spelled out in their civil law union contract, just like a legal Will and testament. Since all death taxes, inheritance taxes, transfer duties etc will be abolished under ASP tax policy, this is another reason why it is totally unnecessary for governments to keep official registries of whom is “legally married” under existing state law.

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