I was never sure if I believed in marriage. It’s not that I don’t believe in love or commitment, but I was never sure if a dress, a ring and a piece of paper really changed the extent of feeling you can have towards one person, or the degree of commitment you place towards your partnership. But since this last weekend’s win in New York City for Same-Sex marriage, since the WA ALP state conference and QLD and the wave of support that is building like a Tsunami I am finding my beliefs starting to change.
Much like a lactose intolerant child who can never have ice-cream, I’ve never really missed it. It’s something THEY do, not me! But now, that ice-cream is getting close. It’s on the plate in front of me, and I find myself reaching for a spoon.
And a spoon I have grabbed! My Mardi Gras Co-Chair Pete Urmson and myself have jumped into battle and are organising a mega fundraising event: A hen’s and Buck’s party for Marriage Equality. More on this later…
For me, marriage equality is not just about being able to marry someone of the same sex, it’s about ensuring our community (US) have the same rights and choices as our straight friends (THEM).
It just isn’t fair that THEY can do this and WE cant.
US and THEM.
So really is this marriage equality debate really a debate between US and THEM? I’m sure our politicians are making it that way.
On Friday the 20th May (the day before the supposed rapture I may add) Julie Gillard accepted a letter with a face to face meeting with FamilyVoice Australia. This letter contained the signatures of 32 000 people against Same Sex Marriage. She then reportedly told representatives from FamilyVoice that she greatly appreciated receiving the letter and reiterated her support for marriage remaining a heterosexual privilege.
Privilege? When I look up the definition of privilege I get the following: “a right, immunity, or benefit enjoyed only by a person beyond the advantages of most”
Does that mean that our prime minister thinks homosexuals are less worthy than heterosexuals?
Meanwhile, she refuses to meet with marriage equality groups. That’s hardly fair, or representative of the overall community is it?
Every couple of month’s rallies are planned around the country to support marriage equality. The same diligent 800 or so people trek into the city, listen to the same type of speeches take to the streets and chant the same slogans. There is no doubt that we are making headway into the hearts and minds of THEM, but how can we accelerate this to ensure that this is actually moving towards the outcome we want?
Unfortunately, the marriage equality fight will not be won in the trenches of our community. It is a stark reality that we are still a minority, and even ALL the collective voices of US will never be more than a fraction of the majority of THEM. We need money to get our messages out and into the mainstream… and fast… that spoon is close!
So your call to arms is firstly start showing up. Surely there are more than 800 of us willing to fight for this cause. Secondly you need to enlist the help of THEM for US. There are many silent supporters in our greater mainstream communities for our cause they just need to be asked, educated and mobilised.
US+THEM can equal CHANGE!
What we can all do individually to help this cause is more than just chanting slogans and getting our community friends to weekend rallies. It’s as simple as starting to talk to our straight friends and asking them to join us. Gay rights are human rights, equal rights are human rights.
Everyone knows members of THEM – friends, Family and Colleagues. If we can get THEM to join US, there will no longer be an US and a THEM. We can just be an accepting, loving, equal US. And what a great world that will be.
So, at the next Marriage Equality Rally or fundraising event will you:
- Come along and join US
- Bring 5 or more straight allies with you
- Ask THEM to bring their friends with them as well
It’s time we added to our choir in the name of equality and human rights, and this means NO MORE US AND THEM.
I will update everyone on the Hens and Bucks night… You will need to bring your straight friends and wallets. If you can help, in any way, gay or straight, contact me. It’s going to be huge, it will be fun, it will be uniting.
See you at the next rally/event/fundraiser.