Monday, 14 August 2017

On the marriage equality plebiscite...

First of all, if anyone shares anything against marriage equality, I will unfriend you. Not because I'm antifree-speech. Free speech is about the government not locking you up for what you say. If I unfriend you, you are still free to say whatever you like on your Facebook page, or wherever you want. It also doesn't mean I'm against your right to have an opinion. If I unfriend you, you still have the right to hold whatever opinion you like on any topic.

The reason I will unfriend you is because I am entitled to choose which people I am friends with here and I choose to NOT be friends with anyone who is homophobic and pro-inequality and pro-discrimination.

I have seen some very weird defences from people who are against equality. I saw one woman say 'what about the rights of heterosexual people to keep the rights they have?' Heterosexual people WILL keep they rights they have! It's not like this change is about removing the ability of heterosexual couples to get married and giving that right exclusively to same sex couples! The same woman also said that heterosexual people should be able to keep the 'unique institution they've always had.' I found this quite sickening. Made me think of a white person not wanting to allow a black person to sit at the front of the bus.

There is no valid defence of the 'no' side when it comes to marriage equality. There is no justification for being pro-discrimination.

The marriage act was changed by the Howard government in 2004 with NO consultation and certainly no plebiscite. It doesn't need a plebiscite to change it back. All that is needed is a simple parliamentary vote to change the marriage act. It just needs to change 'a man and a woman' to 'two people'. That is all. And it would save $120 million.

I have a daughter who is gay. She is wonderful. An amazing person. I will not put up with anyone, I don't care who you are, telling me she's inferior or somehow 'different' or some kind of second class citizen. I will not put up with anyone telling me she doesn't deserve the right to marry the person with whom she is in love.

And it's not just her. I know other gay people and I support their right to marry the person they're in love with. I support this right for all the LGBTQI people in this country. How can anyone look at a person and say 'I don't think you deserve the rights I have'? The very idea goes against everything that is good about society.

The whole idea of a plebiscite on this issue is absurd. Even making it voluntary and postal means it will cost around $120 Million. I have no idea why a heterosexual person in Townsville gets to decide if a gay person in Launceston is allowed to get married. I have no idea why anyone outside a relationship gets to decide whether or not two other consenting adults are allowed to get married.

There is a glaring anomaly in the law. The remedy is a parliamentary vote for equality. Not a months long campaign where bigoted homophobes will be telling a section of the community they're not worthy of being treated equally. It is weak of the government to do this. They are meant to be leaders. They are not leading.

But the vote (at this stage) is happening. And I'll be voting yes. I hope you all (if you're an Aussie) will be voting yes. And if you plan on voting no I'm sad for how you see the world and if I find out you voted no, we will no longer be friends.

A great society fights FOR equality, not AGAINST it.