Yes or No? Marriage Equality in Australia

It’s time to vote.

All across Australia, the public are either voting ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to marriage equality so it can become legal for Australians to marry whomever they please, be it man and man or woman and woman.

Almost every second post I see on Facebook at the moment is someone giving their opinion on whether or not it is right for our country. It’s interesting to see the different ideas and views on this radical moment in history. I wonder what it was like a century ago when Australia became the first country to give women the right to vote and to be elected into Parliament. It wouldn’t have been so easy to see how many supported it without social media, but I’m sure it would have gone down in a very different way.

The argument is this: love is love. If a man loves a man, he should not be denied the right to legally proclaim that love. And we live in an era where the LGBT community is more vocal than ever. Fifty years ago, if someone offended a gay man, that gay man didn’t have a voice to fight back. They were considered freaks, cast out by society. Just like black people. A hundred years before that, it was women. Now, offending a gay man is treated as highly offensive and uncompassionate.

There are people who are worried that this ‘yes’ vote will have a ripple effect on our society and the world will never be the same again. Soon there will be no reference to ‘mother’ and ‘father’ as separate genders. Children will be asked to role play same sex relationships in school (apparently this is already a thing). The people who are afraid of these changes are only afraid because they a) have not entirely accepted the LGBT community as ‘people’ just like us who so happen to love someone of the same gender and b) don’t see this vote for what it truly is: humans asking for the right to marry the person that they love regardless of their gender. They’re afraid of change, just like upper class society was afraid to accept black people not as slaves but as their equal.

I believe in God. I believe in his teachings, his morals, his sacrifice, and most importantly, in his love. God created us as man and woman. He gave men the tool to create children, and he crafted women’s bodies to deliver those children. It’s no secret that the gay community resent God for this. They don’t understand why he ‘created’ them this way and then made them love someone who could not continue this pattern of life with them. And they resent Christians for the simple fact that we act as though we are better than them because we are ‘normal’.

It’s a tiring argument, one bent into a hundred different opinions on a thousand different tangents that all lead to a simple ‘yes’ or a ‘no’, and next year there will be another breakthrough in history where we, as people, will again give our opinion and come to a decision and change the way the world works once more. Maybe legalizing marijuana. Changing Australia Day. A new National Anthem (because Advance Australia Fair has only been our anthem since 1984). I don’t know what it will be, but the majority of society is so focused on marriage equality that we’re forgetting something: There are much much larger issues here that need not just our attention, but all of this time and money we’re throwing into a vote on making a love between two people legal on paper and it baffles me. Our government is filled with people of warped minds, so much so that they sit in their parliament houses in their plush chairs and talk about banning items of clothing (the burqa) or cutting back funds for Australians on the doll or whatever else when it seems like they are in denial of the bigger picture. What about the homeless? What about the starving? What about global warming? What about compassion for our people?

I’m not a politician for the simple fact that I could not put up with all of the bullshit that they have to pay attention to to run the country. But maybe they should stop paying attention to it? Maybe we have a reputation for being lazy as a country because our government are running around trying to fix things that aren’t crucial to our survival. Not only that, but it has made us hate each other. It has made us hate our leaders. It has made us give up trying.

It would be frustrating, sure, if I wasn’t allowed to marry the man/woman of my dreams. But do you know what’s more frustrating? Not having enough money to feed my family. Not having clean water. Not having the means to find medicine to cure my child before he or she has even begun to walk. Being so addicted to drugs that I neglect my child because I don’t know any better and can’t get help. Being so afraid of my own leader and his mad methods that I have to flee my own country and risk my life doing it. Pleading for citizenship in a foreign country so I can work day and night to make enough money to build a life for my family who I haven’t seen in six years in a country where I am considered a terrorist, while my family lives in hiding for fear of getting shot or bombed.

We are a selfish country. We sit around arguing about the meaning of ‘love’ when we can’t even look past our own mediocre problems. If anyone reads this, which I doubt, and you are in some position of power in Australia, which again I doubt, you need to take a step back and put your focus and your billion-dollar budget toward saving lives. Marriage equality should have been legalized in a two-hour meeting months ago because who gives a fuck if a man wants to marry a man? They’re going to love each other anyway! You can’t ban love, so let it be.

Our ‘anthem’ says that we are young and free. But according to science, we don’t have a lot of time left. I think we should focus more on being compassionate toward each other, saving our environment, sharing our wealth, not being a selfish and arrogant generation, face those big decisions, not worry about the small ones, and really listen to each other. Maybe Australia could become great again.

Rant over.

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