Australia is currently in the process of undertaking a postal plebiscite (a non-compulsory, non-binding postal vote) for marriage equality. The vote asks the simple question – do you support marriage equality? Yes or No. As feared and sadly expected, the process has brought out the worst in people on both sides of the argument because like is so common in modern-day politics, people are quicker to draw up battle-lines and aggressively argue their position. But with marriage equality – it’s not so simple. With marriage equality, everyone has an opinion, but with an issue as large and as affecting as this, one has to wonder whether everyone’s right to have an opinion is in fact valid.
I say this as we’re talking about something that literally doesn’t affect a large number of the population. If you’re from the older generation when things were just plain and simple different – if Bill and Ted down the road decide to get married because they love each other, how does that affect you? The short answer is: it doesn’t.
My 96 year old grandmother who passed away last year said something to my wife which surprised us. She commented how prior to meeting my homosexual brother in-law, she’d never met a gay person prior. She then went on to describe him as one of the most wonderful people she’d met and how it had really changed her view.
I appreciate that not everyone has to support marriage equality, but i suspect a lot of people who proudly say they are against it would change their tunes if they were like my grandmother and actually met one, or had any form of relationship with someone from the LGBTQI community other than seeing them on TV – or that gay guy at work, etc.
I am firmly in the yes camp but I am also strongly against this vote going to the populace. I don’t think whether I support it or not has any bearing on whether this should even be a thing in our country. If two people of the same sex love each other, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be able to marry. It’s that simple.
And so this is where I question whether any individual’s opinion matters. These laws affect a ridiculous number of people in our society – people who cant help being the way they are. Nobody is choosing to be gay as some kind of weird sexual perversion, it’s the way they are. Human’s have been this way for as long as human’s have been a thing, the only difference being that for much of that time, they’ve had to hide it. With an issue this large and this affecting, this is where the government should have stepped in and legislated, not by opening the door to every random’s personal two cents, a huge portion of which are completely uninformed to begin with.
Australia is so behind the 8-ball it’s not funny.