Recently Australia has had federal elections. A huge issue in these elections was marriage equality. Unfortunately the conservative party won. I think we won’t be achieving marriage equality any time in the next 3 years, but I am really happy to be proved wrong on that one. The campaign on social media and through protests and peaceful actions have resulted in more Members of Parliament being elected that support marriage equality than ever before. It is not the victory it would have been if Kevin Rudd had won, or (shock horror) the Greens (yes, wishful thinking).
Watch as Kevin Rudd addresses the housemates of Australia’s Big Brother about enacting legislation within his first 100 days in Parliament. Pay close attention to the reaction of the two gay housemates, they are the ones getting teary. I was crying like a loser when I saw this live on TV. Watch the clip, then I’ll explain the tears…
From my point of view the tears were because for once someone in power was recognising my relationship as just as legitimate as a heterosexual relationship. As you all know I have had one of those too, and I fail to see how one was more legitimate than the other. Of course there are the things that stand to be gained personally ie the right to marry my girlfriend should I choose, and all the legal rights that go with that such as those regarding personal property, power of attorney during illness and that sort of thing. But to me this issue is bigger than that. It is bigger than personal gain from a just decision. It is a human rights issue. Not having marriage equality sends the message that somehow my relationships are less legitimate, not equal, somehow less than the standard heterosexual kind. It sends a message to young people that gay is not as good. It sends a message to heterosexual people that they are more legitimate. It establishes heterosexuality as the norm, the state sanctioned way of living, and anything outside that norm is less than equal and not legally recognised.
I understand the religious arguments put forward against marriage equality. My answer is this, we have a separation of church and state. We have this for good reason. I am not asking to get married in a church. I’m not asking religious institutions to accept me. I am asking for equal rights under the law. Take as a fundamental premise that people who are gay are born that way. We love who we love. It is not a choice. Most people do not choose to be straight. I say most people because I did choose to be straight, and I failed at it. Why? Because I did not choose to be gay, baby I was born this way. I am worthy of equal human rights under the law.
I am looking forward to the day when it is not a “gay wedding” or a “normal wedding”. I am looking forward to the day when it is just a wedding. Pure and simple. Until we get there we keep fighting. You will notice the upgrade to the background for this blog. It is my silent protest in support of marriage equality. I have also chalked a rainbow and been active in the social media. I will continue to stand behind this issue until equality is achieved, as I know it will be, eventually. People will look back on it like we look back on women getting the right to vote, and wonder how on earth we stood for such bigotry in the first place.
No freedom til we’re equal, damn right I support it.