On this day 7 years ago I got married. How lucky am I? Not because I got to marry my best friend and soul mate, nor the fact that after 14 years together we are happier than ever. I am lucky that the body I was born in is white. I am lucky that the vessel that carries me prefers the opposite sex. I am lucky that this vehicle of mine is able in both body and in mind. I am lucky I have never experienced discrimination or injustice a day in my life due to these small factors.
I naively thought that saying “No” to gay marriage wouldn’t be an option in this day and age. I thought we had grown as a nation to become more accepting of differences and to support equal rights for all. Sure, I knew the religious folk who have been indoctrinated with their close-minded views would not be voting “Yes” on the subject and I suspected people of the older generation might poo-poo the idea too, but recently I have discovered close friends and family not voting “Yes” and this has quite frankly p&$$ed me off!
I’ve heard the arguments from a friend saying “I can’t be bothered as the issue doesn’t motivate me enough to vote. Something like youth suicide is more of a tragedy than gays not getting to wed.” What about the fact that LGBTQI teens and youth have one of the highest rates of suicide attempts. Do you think perhaps open acceptance and equality for LGBTQI might change these statistics? That by voting “Yes” you will actually be saving lives??
Another friend was much more adamant that he was voting “No.” He worriedly said “Gay marriage is bringing too much change to our country. Our country is fine how it is. What else will they try to slip by us if this passes?” What the heck do you think will happen??? Their weddings might upstage ours? That their open-mindedness and acceptance of all people might rub off on us? Pfft!
This same friend is of an ethnic background and immigrated to Australia when he was young. He could be considered a “minority”. If it wasn’t for change and progression he may still be considered a “savage” or a “slave” and not have any rights to vote. If it wasn’t for the open-mindedness and movements of change-makers before us his mother, sisters, wife and daughters would not be educated or given the rights they have today. If it wasn’t for change, his interracial marriage could be frowned upon. Is change really such a bad thing?
Many of these people in my life who are voting “No” are parents. Will they still be OK with their decision if one of their children is LBGTQI and says “Mum, why can’t I marry the person that I love like you did with Dad?” Or perhaps their child is too frightened to confide in them due to thier bigoted views. What if their child became one of the suicide statistics? Would they still be happy with their “No” vote?
Others have said, “Why do they need to get married?” I say, “Why did YOU need to get married?!” It is a well-known fact that heterosexual couples have already tarnished the sanctity of marriage through adultery, divorce, marrying for visas, marrying for money, marrying for fame. All the LGBTQI community want is the same rights as “us” and to marry for the right reason- LOVE. Who are we to deny anyone this right that we abuse so freely?
We are the LAST developed English-speaking country not allowing same sex couples to marry. To me it is ludicrous we are even having this discussion and that people aren’t seeing what this issue truly is- a fight for EQUAL RIGHTS.
You have a chance to make a difference in the lives of our fellow mankind. Be the change you want to see in the world and vote “YES” for LOVE.
“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.” Dalai Lama.