With all of the talk about restrictions against gay marriage lately, I think it's prudent to take a look at controversial straight relationships that some may consider immoral or perverse. In Australia, the law does not recognize same-sex marriages. However, in extreme circumstances, for an "extraordinary and unusual" straight couple, the legal age of 18 may be bypassed.
A 16-year-old girl and her 26-year-old fiancé were recently granted permission to marry by a Lismore Court. Lucinda Law (who, I just have to snarkily comment, has a name like a pornstar's) met her man Glen Ramsay (again…) at the age of nine, when her father Greg introduced them. Greg is an elder member of Manifold Ministries (whose website looks circa 1996), a 25-member, vegetarian Christian sect who preach against the "new world order." It was Lucinda's father who suggested the two become romantically involved two years ago, when Lucinda was 14. The couple's religious beliefs restrict premarital sex.
Although it's very weird, burgeoning on creepy, in fact, to think that a father would orchestrate a romantic relationship for his underage daughter with a man ten years older than she is, and although it's equally easy to make judgment on such marginalized religious beliefs, these two people seem to be consenting and happy. And the court decided to allow this marriage, after all. But laws restricting the age at which one can get married have been put in place in order to establish a minimum age of consent (this is only the second time in 20 years that a marriage like this one has been allowed). In the case of Australia, the minimum age of consent is 18. So is a girl of 16 even old enough to make this decision, especially considering the circumstances and pressures that surely come with her family's involvement in the relationship? And is it fair that there is machination set in the courts for special, "extraordinary and unusual" straight couples, but a similar case-by-case analysis to determine if betrothed gay couples of legal age are "extrodinary and unusual" is not (especially considering the prevalent gay culture in Australia)?