Heya blogmates! For my US readers you’ve probably not heard about how the Australian Government is currently running a Same Sex Marriage (SSM) postal vote to determine the public’s opinion as to if we believe it’s a good idea to change the law to allow same sex couples to marry.
I wasn’t going to get involved in this matter. Aside from my vote I didn’t really want to step in and share my thoughts. I don’t have very strong political views; to be honest my attitude is that all politicians are kinda a-holes. My opinion of the whole SSM postal vote is that it is a total waste time and money for the following reasons:
- The postal vote isn’t actually compulsory (unlike local, state and federal elections where voting is a requirement for all registered voters over 18 years);
- The results aren’t enforceable. If the result is a resounding YES (I hope it is) the law won’t be automatically change. The current Prime Minister in power has made it very clear he isn’t supportive of SSM, so I’m sure he’ll be opposing any changes to the law.
- It’s costing tax payers approx. $122 million dollars to find out the results. Money that could be spent elsewhere.
Let me be clear, I 110% support SSM, it’s just the law, a simple change. Marriage has very little to do with religion; it’s a legally binding contract between a man and woman. An update to the law will change this to a legally binding contract between two people.
I support SSM for the following reasons:
- It’s equality. Gay couples are classed as De Facto couples and have to be taxes as a couple; however they don’t get the same rights as straight couples to stand up in front of their loved ones to declare their desire to marry the other.
- Legal rights. Spouses have a lot of rights that a de facto partner doesn’t. The right to be with their spouse during medical treatments is one that is so very important. Not to mention rights concerning property jointly owned by a gay couple.
- Supporting the community. When I was old enough to know what I like; I knew I liked boys. I knew one day I would have the chance to get married and have children (if I met the right man of course). I can’t even imagine how difficult it must be when you realise you like the same sex or both sexes. All of a sudden the idea of marriage and kids seems unlikely. For young people who are at their most vulnerable this idea may be soo overwhelming they become depressed or even harm themselves. If the YES vote helps save 1 person from this then I’m totally onboard.
So far the survey has managed to show the ugliness of society. I’ve read disgusting comments criticising the LGBTIQ community and encouraging violence. I’ve seen the NO campaign pay for advertising over prime time advising people it’s ok to say NO and linking SSM to the Safe Schools Program (which isn’t the case at all). I’ve read about a Yes campaign person head butting a former politician. I’ve heard of families being torn apart by their decisions. I’ve been surprised by close friends with their decision to vote NO. I’ve had gay friends advise they are feeling so anxious, depressed and not coping with what they’ve experienced during the voting period.
What we need is less a waste of money survey and more compassion and understanding. A little empathy for a community that has always been marginalised. A community that has suffered violence, prejudice, and former laws that sought to stamp out their choices. You may not be comfortable with the LGBTIQ community (it’s your loss if you are) but they deserve the same basic rights as everyone else. Love is Love.
The words of my favourite rapper (I’m even tempted to watch the Australian Rugby League Grand Final this weekend to see him perform) Mackelmore sum it up perfectly…