LET’S QUIETEN THE NOISE.
This isn’t about me. This isn’t about you either, really. This this is about all of us, and most importantly, this is about two of us.
This isn’t an issue of love, for love can exist without wedlock.
This isn’t about traditional marriage, or the traditional family – they will always be there.
This isn’t about your beliefs. You can still have them. A vote either way will not take them from you.
This isn’t a chance to throw down with your political opponents. This isn’t about “left-wing bullies” who condemn your choices, or “right-wing bigots” who wield fear as a sword.
This isn’t an issue of political correctness. This is not about moralising, bullying, or judgment.
This is not an attempt to force an opinion down your throat.
This is about the rights of individuals – the rights of all people. This is personal choice at the mercy of public opinion.
This is an issue of dignity, equality, and humanity. The affordance of the same liberties we take for granted to those who have never known them.
This is important for all of us, as a nation, to show we are not archaic, or rely on the rules of antiquity. This is a chance to demonstrate to the world that fair go we boast about, that we are truly a land of opportunity.
This is about doing what’s fair.
But most of all, this is an issue between one couple. Two people who wish, as many of us do, to stand before family and friends and profess their love for each other, and to have that love recognised by their country, and their community.
This is why we are voting. And if you vote yes, this is all you are voting for.
Sadly, we have besmirched this issue. We have poisoned the well with our doctrines and our egos, and conflated the debate with our personal ideologies.
Supporting marriage equality will not change your faith or your way of life. It will not erode your beliefs in the same way living with people of other faiths does not erode them now. The acceptance of others is not immoral, and I’d argue, it’s quite the opposite.
Same sex parents are not threats to the traditional family, but an evolution of it. Marriage is not a prerequisite for procreation. Infertile couples can to marry, as can the elderly who are past the point of childbirth.
The sanctity of marriage is not bestowed by a court, or law, or by the word of God, it is enshrined by the individuals who enter the union itself – and those who do, be they gay or straight, understand its value.
A yes vote will not unravel the moral fabric of society, but serve to strengthen it.
There is no agenda hidden in this issue, for it is all of us who hold liberty over the few. You are entitled to your opinions. No one is mandating your choices, or decisions, or your actions.
A vote no may not mean you are a homophobe, but it means you are willing to deny others the same rights you were born with. A vote yes, however, while it won’t have a direct consequence of your life (anymore than any wedding has now), will make a positive impact on the lives of so many others.
No one is demanding you accept anything – merely asking that you allow everyone the same freedoms you already have.
To those who’d argue that this is a slippery slope, I would agree. This one act of equality may inevitably lead to more and maybe someday something, which directly affects you. For, if you deny someone else equality, then in action you’ll have denied it to yourself. We, as country, will never be truly equal unless all of us are.
But when all the rhetoric is exhausted, the question is simple: should all Australians have the same rights as each other?
If your answer is yes, then your vote should also be so.
Let’s not let this simple question become our political Rubicon. The right to choose to spend one’s life with whomever one chooses and to have that union recognised by their community is not a monstrous request.
We must remember, beyond the noise, this isn’t about politics. This is about people.
This is about two people, who wish to be married.
And even though we all have this vote, this isn’t about you, or me either.
This is about extending the opportunity to everyone to experience what many describe as “the best day of their life” – and how often do we get the chance to vote selflessly for someone else’s happiness?
I am confident we are a good people: a people who are willing to grow, and who seek to improve. That we are inclusive, and embracing, with a sense of mateship that knows no constraints of identity, that when all is said and done, we are keen to lend a fair go to everyone of us.
If ever an issue so closely fit our national mythos, it is marriage equality. And a vote yes can let us all rejoice.
Love for all.
. . .
COME SAY HELLO