I watched the ad with a view that it would be another temper raising video, designed to make people like me, people who support equal rights for all, not just a select few 'lucky ones' who happen to be born in the majority extremely, blood boiling, horrifyingly angry. I was completely thrown off guard, and I was shocked at how warm, loving and simple their message is, and in fact, did not make me angry at those who oppose love, freedom and equality at all. It made me sad, sad for those men and women who in our country, a country which I love, a country founded on differences of every kind imaginable, a country that denies a staggering number of my fellow Australians the right to be treated as anything but second class citizens all because of their sexual orientation. Head to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TBd-UCwVAY if you want to watch the clip.
But then I got thinking, while I was saddened by the predicament I found myself in, feeling empathy and sympathy for those countrymen who are being left by the wayside, my anger, frustration and desperation started to grow. WHY? I'm going to put this out there with no qualms about it. I am in full support of marriage equality. In my opinion the whole debate about 'Gay Marriage' is about a federally legal change to the wording of the term marriage in the eyes of the law and nothing else. As it stands the definition of the word 'marriage' in Australia reads like this:
"The voluntary union for life of one man and one woman,
to the exclusion of all others"
What I can't see, is why it is so difficult to change this sentence. Why can't it read:
“The voluntary union for life of two people, in love, to the exclusion of all others”
What I can't seem to wrap my head around, is why anyone else cares what other people do with their own lives. It's quite simple really; if you don't want a gay wedding, don't have one. But who are you to stop two people in love from expressing everything that YOU get to express to your loved one? I think its absolutely abhorrent that this is still being allowed to happen, almost completely based on the slant the religious right have given homosexuality. You might not agree with me, but the majority of people who object and actively try to stop marriage equality will be those of faith.
This has nothing to do with religious affiliation, as churches that don't want to marry GLBTI people, shouldn't be forced to (they can still be as discriminatory as they want.) They say that it is attack on the institution of marriage to allow homosexuals to wed. Since when did the religious own love? Since when did the faithful take that tradition as their own. Yes, it is known that marriages happen in churches and its written about in that so called 'good book'. But who said – Oh yes, the catholic/muslim/jewish own the entire institution. If you ask me, marriage is about ones own standing and protection in the country in which they were entwined. Its about getting the support of your country, its about being able to enjoy the benefits available to those that choose to spend their lives together, and there are quite a few. It has nothing to do with the churches.
In regards to federal government recognition, this needs to happen. The whole 'same but different' debate has gone on long enough. Civil unions are great, but until the marriage act reflects its entire constituency, until the GLBTI community are respected and allowed the EXACT equality of their straight counterparts, true equality will never be reached. And in my opinion, this would be a tragedy. I'm of the opinion that I will not get married, at least until my peers of ALL sexual orientation can do the same.
All of this got me thinking, to the point where my head hurt. I have such solid views on so many facets of society, and while I plug away at a job that I don't particularly like, in a world of constantly changing opinions, morals, and values, I do have a voice. Granted, not many people in my everyday life would hear my voice above the tirade of other opinions floating around, but nonetheless I have decided to embark on what I fear may be a short run in the vast eternal blogger-sphere that is the internet. I hope to be able to discuss the way I see the world, how I deal with my own thoughts and feelings on anything from the light-hearted news story about loyal dogs and cats, to the horrifying stories regarding war, religion and death. I get angry about a lot of things, but I feel my anger is justified in almost every aspect and I hope to share my honest opinions and thoughts on these matters in my coming posts.