‘Married At First Sight’ feature same sex couple

Married at First SightOPINION

I’m going to speak now, because I can not hold my opinion piece.

Channel Nine’s program ‘Married at First Sight’ has often been criticised for trivializing marriage and commitment.

At a time when a serious conversation about the value, and legitimacy of same sex couples relationships, is at the forefront of national issues this TV program treats marriage as a game show.

LGBT couples who are fighting for the right to get married, and provide stability and commitment within their families, have often argued that the show is insensitive.

Now the new series of the show has put a gay couple at the centre of it’s advertising campaign.

The show proudly declares it has it’s first same sex wedding.

(Except it can’t because same sex couples can’t get married in Australia, but that doesn’t matter because none of the weddings on the show are real anyway)

Psychologist John Aitken, who appears on the show,  told the Australia News Network that including a same sex couple in the show was exciting.

“The couples don’t legally marry, because you can’t legally marry at first sight in Australia. So I think that we have the ability to get anyone and everyone on this show,” Aiken said.

“The idea of expanding it out and getting different sorts of couples is certainly exciting.”

Someone somewhere in a meeting at Channel Nine thought this was a good idea. They thought the best way to battle the criticism that the show trivialises marriage would be to include LGBT people in the process.

No, it’s not exciting. It’s still insulting.

Sure, some might argue that by including a same sex couple in the show millions of Australians who tune in might get their first glimpse of gay romance.

You might be tempted to think that if these two randoms fall in love, some of the people who vehemently oppose the desires of same sex couples to wed will have a change of heart. Sure – that might happen.

Woman’s Day and New Idea might suddenly devote weeks of coverage a blossoming queer romance, and there is no denying – that would be lovely to read about in the Doctor’s surgery waiting room.

However- it doesn’t remove the basic fact that this is a program that suggests making a life commitment is similar to spending some time on the Millionaire Hot Seat. “I’d like to lock in Bachelor C – thanks Eddie”.

Here’s where stupid TV shows can show that advocates of marriage equality, and those worried about letting same sex couples into the club, actually have a lot in common.

Marriage is serious. Marriage should be respected. In many cases marriage provides security and stability for families. As they often say in the vows – it’s not something that should be entered into lightly.

Graeme Watson

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