It’s been some time since I’ve written anything. But I want to write this because the furore over the same-sex plebiscite is driving me insane. The conversation surrounding the plebiscite has been hurtful to the people of the LGBT community and their families. The amount of money being spent on the plebiscite is money that would be better spent on helping the environment (we could probably buy a whole new Great Barrier Reef for $122 million). And above all things, the plebiscite does not promise to legalise same-sex marriage. If the majority of Australian voters say ‘yes,’ the only thing the government will do is pitch to Parliament the idea of changing the Marriage Act (as opposed to actually changing it). However, if the majority of voters say ‘no,’ the issue will be dismissed and Parliament will resume its job of doing nothing productive for this country.
This does not mean that our opinions and voices are any less important. If anything, the ‘yes’ votes will encourage parliamentary discussion. Voting ‘no’ only means that the issue of same-sex marriage is swept back under the rug. Even if you’re opposed to same-sex marriage, I’d ask you to consider voting ‘yes’ just to encourage parliamentarians to stop avoiding the issue and actually talk about it.
Of course, I’m not voting ‘yes’ purely because I want the MPs to get off their ass and do something. I’m voting yes for several reasons:
I’m voting yes because I want the government to acknowledge the relationships of LGBT couples as valid. They should be able to receive the same financial and legal protections that come with marriage and not one of those flakey civil unions that aren’t federally recognised.
I’m voting yes because legalising same-sex marriage isn’t going to be a gateway to legalising things like paedophilia and incest. In Australia, sexual conduct can legally only take place between consenting adults. It is unlikely that the age of consent will change. Also, you can be sent to prison for incest and registered as a sex offender. You can no longer be sent to prison for being gay.
I’m voting yes because God isn’t real enough to be offended by same-sex marriage. Besides, He has other things that I’d prefer Him to focus on (such as stopping child sexual abuse in His own religious institutions and defeating those evil bastards who eat shellfish).
I’m voting yes because the primary function of marriage shouldn’t be about having kids. The relationships and lives of childless couples (or childless people) shouldn’t be any less meaningful because they don’t have kids. If this is the case, let me just crawl back into the Dark Ages and end my meaningless life.
I’m voting yes because I don’t believe children ‘deserve a mother and a father.’ It’s crazy that this is even something people are concerned about. Would you tell a child with an abusive father/mother that this was the parental unit they deserved? If anything, children deserve a family that loves them and treats them with respect. Children don’t specifically require a mother and a father in order to be a functioning member of society. I challenge all those opposed to same-sex marriage to look a single mother in the eye and tell her that she’s not looking out for her child’s best interests by being single. Had anyone said that to my mother (who spent most of my childhood as a single parent), she would have rightfully torn them to shreds.
I’m voting yes because I genuinely can’t see marriage as being a Sacred Contract For The Rest of Your Life™, let alone a sacred contract exclusively for heterosexual couples. If the sanctity of marriage is so profound and mysterious, why aren’t conservatives campaigning to make adultery illegal? Why was it OK for Kim Kardashian to casually call it quits after 72 days of living under the Sacred Contract?
I truly want to see my LGBT friends get married to the people that they love. I want to go to their fabulous weddings. I want to see them raise functioning children (mostly to spite the conservative naysayers). I want my LGBT friends to get married in this sunburnt country and I’m sick of conservative politicians dodging the issue.