And so there seems to be every chance Australia is heading towards a voluntary, non-binding postal survey on marriage equality, given our ineffectual conservative government has a bug in its proverbial about doing anything to avoid the words “gay” and “married” appearing in any legally actionable sentence that doesn’t also include the word “denied”.
As a gay man in a relationship of 21 years, I have more than a few thoughts on marriage equality, and there’s more than a few people I want to share those thoughts with. So maybe an open letter is the way to go – not just to one person, but to all the groups of people I want to share those thoughts with.
Dear LGBTIQ Who Want to Vote No,
I beg you to reconsider. I understand why you want to vote no. There’s part of me that screams to do so, even though I want to get married to my partner of 21 years. I feel angry – really angry – about this going to a plebiscite or postal survey when it’s something that should be dealt with in parliament in a matter of minutes. The political reasons for it being dealt with this way are insulting and demeaning. But voting no because we’re angry won’t help the cause. If nothing else we owe it to all the LGBTIQ teens who don’t yet have a voice in the matter to shout YES, not just for ourselves, but for them. We’ve come so far in achieving a level of support and equal rights in Australia, but the next step is marriage equality. Regardless of whether we personally choose to get married, the right to use those special words – husband, wife – are going to be a subtle yet important factor in fully equalising our rights in Australia. If you’re not convinced about the power of words, please read this.
Dear Supportive Straight Friends and Family,
I can’t thank you enough. By supporting marriage equality you’re telling your LGBTIQ friends that you think we deserve equal rights – that we are equal. Many of us grow up wondering who our real friends and family are, who those people are that we can rely on to treat us as equals, when push comes to shove. Your actions speak volumes and it won’t be forgotten.
Dear Anti-Marriage-Equality Facebook Advertisers,
You ramming your message into my Facebook stream through targeted advertising isn’t going to change my view on marriage equality. In fact, knowing that it’ll likewise be appearing in the Facebook stream for people who are vulnerable or depressed over the issue will just piss me off more. So every time I see one of your ads I’ll be reporting it – and your group – as hate speech or the appropriate variation thereof. Hate speech is not free speech, and you’re not entitled to your opinion.
Dear Australian “Christian” Lobby,
Shut up. Seriously ACL, just crawl back into whatever little-minded rat-hole you crawled out of years ago and learn to keep your rancid thoughts to yourselves.
You say you’re not bigots. You say you’re interested in preserving Christian virtues and thinking of the children.
I’m not sure what Christian virtues specifically relate to remaining silent while untold reams of harrowing evidence is presented to the public on the crimes against humanity and children perpetuated by mainly Christian organisations in Australia. Children raped. Children killed. Adults, living with the scars of those crimes driven to self-harm and suicide.
You speak all the time of the rights of the children, yet during the Royal Commission into Child Abuse you were eerily silent. Day after day when the Royal Commission rolled on you had nothing to say. If you really cared about children, you’d have been at the Royal Commission every day evidence was heard to document abuses against children, and to speak out against them.
Your silence on that matter robs you of any supposed moral-highground you claim to have on any other matter, and in that we deserve to say: shut the hell up.
Dear Catholic Church – and any other religious organisation that fights against marriage equality,
The Royal Commission exposed a nightmarish litany of religious organisations in Australia perpetuating horrors against children for decades, and doing their utmost to hide it.
Before you weigh in on marriage equality, you might first want to reapply for admission to the human race.
Dear People Who Think Marriage Is All About Children,
If you think that while allowing sterile couples to stay married, or couples past child-bearing age to get married, you’re a hypocrite. It’s that simple.
Dear John Howard,
Seriously, this is all your fault. I therefore wish you continued good health, so that you’re alive and kicking when marriage equality is realised and you have to face the fact that your sneaky and bigoted changing of the marriage act to prevent marriage equality has – like almost all of your leadership of the country was – been a failure. Like you.
Dear Tony Abbott,
How mean-spirited and spiteful are you? Your own sister is a lesbian – your own sister wants to get married to the woman she loves. You’re her brother. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen you wear mixed fabrics. I’m fairly certain you’ve had a prawn or two (if only to wash down those damn onions), and I’m guessing when you were prime minister at least, you probably worked at least one Sunday.
Get over it. Get over yourself. You’re a hypocrite, plain and simple. You’re cherry picking your beliefs about traditions. If you really had a traditional view of marriage rather than recently joking about your sister’s divorce, you should have stoned her. But you didn’t. So you’re a hypocrite. (And I’m grateful she’s not stoned.)
And yeah: this “political correctness” bullshit. My partner and I being able to marry after 21 years together isn’t political correctness gone mad, as so many in the right would argue, yourself included, but about finally getting the equality we deserve.
Get over yourself Tony. It doesn’t matter what you do or say, you’re still a failure. Only the depth now varies. It’s up to you how deep you want to dig that hole.
Dear Penny Wong,
Years ago I was furious with you for toeing the-then ALP line on denying marriage equality. I will never forget that, or the anger I felt at it.
But just as I accept my opinion changes over the years, I’ll accept that your position can change, too. So thanks for your support. I look forward to the day when you’ll be able to marry your partner, should you wish to.
Dear Liberal Party Members in Support of Marriage Equality,
Thanks for what you’ve done so far, but it’s time you do a little more. Your party is dominated by the howling bigots who insist they’ll bring down the one-seat-majority government if marriage equality is passed.
I say they’re gutless bullies. I say they enjoy the privilege of the pay packet that comes with being a member of the government, as opposed to a member of the opposition. Prove to the LGBTIQ community in Australia that you really support them – in more than words – and cross the floor to introduce this into parliament. If they really are so very bigoted that they’d really bring down their own government in an act of spite rather than see an issue that doesn’t personally affect them come to pass, do you really want to associate with them anyway? And if your convictions actually really mean something, you’d not care.
Dear Barnaby Joyce,
No matter how long you prevent marriage equality in Australia, I’m never marrying any of your daughters. It’s time you got over it. Gay men aren’t interested in your daughters and unless your daughters are lesbians, they’re unlikely to want to get married to a woman.
Dear Australian Media,
No more beating around the bush. It’s not “same sex marriage”. It’s not “gay marriage”.
(And as of the increased laziness of the last week, it’s certainly not a plebiscite about “same sex”.)
The term is marriage equality. Calling it anything else is lazy and demeaning. Sure, we know Miranda and co. over at News Corp will continue to prattle with all sorts of names for it, but the rest of you don’t have to follow suit. Stop calling this by faux-names that obfuscate the real point of it. It’s not same-sex marriage. It’s marriage equality. It doesn’t matter how friendly you espouse to be to our cause, while you refuse to call it marriage equality, it just feels like you’re getting behind us simply because that’s the best position to ram the knife home.
Dear Malcolm Turnbull,
I hope you hadn’t thought I’d forgotten you. I’d never forget you, Malcolm.
It takes a special kind of gutless-wonder to be you these days, Malcolm. Not only are you a politician, but you’ve also been a businessman. As either you should know better – and as both you should definitely know better: you have an opportunity to be a leader, but instead you remain firmly led.
For years – perhaps decades – you espoused and promoted yourself as a moderate. As a true Liberal rather than a conservative. But what we have seen through your continued inaction and kowtowing to the bigots in your own party is simple: the only thing you actually seem to have a real passion for, a real concern about, is continuing to hear and see the words, “, Prime Minister” follow your name. And you’ve proven that by choosing to make what could be a simple matter difficult and full of vitriol.
Dear My Psychologist,
Yeah, this is pissing me off, but I think we’d both agree I’m justified in being angry about something that affects me personally. Occasionally, one needs to vent.