It’s Astounding but true.
I’m an Aussie, born here, never left here. There are things about this place that I love. There are things about this place that are frustrating beyond all measure.
Some really great things got their start here in this country, like, awesome things, like Microsurgery, yeah, you know, like sewing fingers and toes back on.
There are other great things here too, like the fact we have a universal health care system. It’s not perfect, and some would like to see that change, and break it, but so far it stand as a functional if not perfect system.
We have a welfare state, in the view of some it would be considered socialism, but it isn’t that, nothing like it. It’s a social democracy I guess. The welfare state is far from adequate in actually providing a living income to those that need it.
And yes we have our issues too. Lots of them. Every country does there is no utopia, it just doesn’t exist.
But today I remain astounded at the stupidity of how our federal government seems to work. I am reminded of it after seeing that Taiwan has made marriage equality a reality as I scrolled my newsfeed last night.
Overnight I have been thinking on this, and, perhaps the best description I have for how I feel is, after you ignore or the expletives that is, utterly astounded.
It is astounding that this is the case. That we still don’t have marriage equality. We as a nation sit politically with a government of an economic rationalism bent, but the leader of that government, our Prime Minister, has previously and regularly pronounced his support for marriage equality. We have a leader of the opposition also with declared support for marriage equality. And yet, astoundingly we don’t have marriage equality.
It’s a pretty simple thing for it to happen. Actually, it’s so simple it could probably be done in a day.
What’s required is a change to The Marriage Act of Australia. – Nothing complex like a constitutional change, nothing ongoing and long fought out like legal proceedings in through our court systems. No, just a simple change in our Marriage Act.
Currently the act has the words – a man and a woman as a caveat of the two people marrying. Strangely enough this line itself was added only in the last 15 years when a conservative Prime Minister was intent on thwarting state legislation. That change was done, very quickly and very quietly. With minimal debate, no public vote or anything of that kind.
And yet, our Prime Minister says in order to remove this and ensure that marriage equality is enshrined in the Act we must have a public vote on it. Even though, it’s not a constitutional change, and therefore it could not be a referendum and would need to be a plebiscite.
A non-binding plebiscite!
The issue of the plebiscite is nothing more than a delaying tactic being pushed and prodded forwards by the hard right within our ruling government party. They won’t be bound by the results of it, and so, it’s an expensive, pointless waste of everyone’s effort.
It’s a simple thing. A vote on the floor of parliament to approve a change of the Marriage act. Well two votes in fact, a vote in the lower House of Representatives, and then a vote in the upper house The Senate. We have in fact had votes on this in the past, they have failed, and not because the majority of our politicians don’t support it. No, because the Conservative party rulers have refused to allow their members to vote according to their conscience.
Meanwhile, LGBTIQA+ people wait, hope and long for the same human right to marry the one they love that heterosexual people have. They long for the same protections under the law. People are dying whilst waiting in hope to marry the one they love.
To my Australian government I implore you to understand that this is not your political play thing. This is people’s lives, hopes, dreams, families, love, and of course, human rights. Please, I implore you, stop playing games, stand up and be counted on the right side of history, on the side of equality, justice and humanity.
The state of things at this time are in fact a blight on this country. Not the only blight, don’t get me started on the treatment of refugees by successive governments, but a significant blight.
Australian politicians, regardless of party affiliation, it’s time to stop the bullshit, the games, the delays and obfuscations. It’s time to get into that building we pay you to be in and do what we pay you to do and make marriage equality a reality.
It’s astounding that this is still needing to be said.