Australia is considered to be a friendly place that respects diversity and takes people as they come without too much carry on whilst England is viewed as somewhere that still has some class warfare and a more old school environment yet this week the UK Parliament took a step towards equality that somehow seems to be out of reach here. A conscience vote was held in parliament where everyone was actually allowed to vote as guided by their conscience instead of a dogmatic party line and as a result the decision has been made to legalize Gay Marriage.
From all reports it was a very passionate and yet civilized debate where each side of the argument listened respectfully and just got on with a powerful act of recognising the equality in all people and relationships. Somehow in Australia (the land of mateship and open respect) we can’t get to this point.
I have heard many arguments to justify not recognising this type of equality:
- Marriage has always been just a Man and a Woman ( or the “Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve” school of thought)
- I have nothing against “them” but they don’t think they should be allowed to marry (or the “I am totally against “them” but don’t want to sound like it” school of thought)
- It will lead to the breakdown of society (or the “all gays are dangerous and somehow subversive” school of thought)
- It would be too different and strange to let it happen (or the “don’t fix it if it ain’t broken” school of thought)
I don’t understand the “logic” of any of those arguments.
If you haven’t seen it already please take the time to watch this youtube video as it is a very poignant illustration of what the discrimination against marriage equality can cause. This is heartbreaking and no matter what your sexuality the prospect of this happening to anyone should be abhorrent.
There are so many things that used to be the norm that have been left in the annals of history such as women not being allowed to work, the 35 hour week (maybe that one could be brought back), aboriginals not being counted as people to name a few and the world as we know it didn’t come to an end. Instead we have a richer, diverse and more tolerant society as a result.
In many surveys published recently (including this one from February with 2/3rd’s of people in favour) it seems that we have a majority of people supporting marriage equality so my question is how can we as the type of country we are let the UK be the standard bearer for a more tolerant and understanding society?
If you want to learn more you can go to Australian Marriage Equality who are running a very active campaign in the leadup to the 2013 Federal Election. You can also find information on Facebook or search #equalloveequalrights on Twitter.
For mine it is way past time that we gave equal love equal rights