It’s hard to believe we are still marching for this.
I’m sitting here in the safety of a local cafe, a short walk from my home. A place I am safe to be me. Of course it’s not perfect, rarely, if ever, is anything ever perfect. But it’s my place, I can be as femme as I like, max it up or tone it right down and it doesn’t matter.
This time tomorrow I will be preparing to march with other, for the simple right to marry the one I love. It’s kind of academic, given I am not in a relationship at the moment. But if I was, it would be with another woman, and here, in this land, this so-called progressive social democracy, this is not legal.
It is not legal here for people of the same sex to marry. Still. In 2017. The hard right of our Conservative party have held sway for a long time in wielding their power within their party to avoid our parliament ever voting on it.
We’ve had advocacy organisations claiming to protect the natural order of things, lobbying with all their might to avoid our parliament actually voting on this issue.
This could have been solved years ago. Our parliament have voted on it before. But this has continually failed due to the parties not allowing their members to vote according to their conscience.
Let’s ignore the fact, just for the moment that they should always be voting according to their conscience and the wishes of their constituents, but no, they vote according to party lines, which generally means the leaders wishes, or the power block that has the power to oust said leader.
Our Prime Minister, who, incidentally claims to personally support marriage equality, has a policy of a plebiscite, an exorbitantly expensive solution that would involve all citizens voting on the issue.
Many seem to think this is a good idea, and it is easy to mistake it for one, what better way to ensure the will of the people than to allow them to vote on it. Democracy at work right.
Except, a campaign for both a no vote and a yes vote would be hard fought, bruising and horrible for LGBTIQA+ people. We would be subjected, with no recourse to bigoted campaign advertisements, speeches, debates and dialogue. It would provide an environment where the bigoted minority who were inclined to use violence against us would feel empowered to do so. And in this case it is a minority.
We all already know that the majority of our people support marriage equality, poll after poll has confirmed this. The will of the people is known, so any plebiscite vote is dangerous for Queer people and a complete and total waste of money and everyone’s time.
Even more ridiculous, if you can fathom it, is the fact that this expensive voting exercise our Prime Minister Mr Turnbull wants us to engage in is not binding. So no matter the outcome, no matter it would most likely end up with a yes vote, the politicians would still have to vote in parliament to change the marriage act and the result of the plebiscite is not to be a binding factor on that vote.
Pretty much all that needs to happen, for marriage equality to be law in this country is for our politicians to stand up and in parliament and vote yes to make a change, an amendment, an addition to the Marriage Act.
It’s not that hard. It’s more simple than can be imagined. We don’t need a lengthy Supreme Court ruling, we don’t need any plebiscite or referendum. We just need our politicians to do what we pay them for and vote for the right thing.
For all the bluster and rubbish we have seen about a plebiscite and it needing to be that way, ignored conveniently is the fact that a Prime Minister in the early 2000's inserted the words to the effect of between a man and a woman. He did this as states and territories more progressive than the federal government were enacting their own legislation to enact marriage equality. And he did this with no plebiscite, he did this as an act of bigotry, an act designed to render void marriages made in the states and territories. He certainly didn’t feel any need to gauge the will of the people in that case.
Come on Mr Turnbull, it’s time to cut the rhetoric, the bullshit and the fuckerry and have a free vote in parliament. It’s time to end the cishetero privilege of our Marriage Act. It’s time to end the discrimination that says, because I am gay, lesbian, bi, trans, non-binary that I can’t marry the one I love.
Cut the bullshit Turnbull, stand up to the right wing bigots, stare them down, do what you believe is right, bring this to a vote, a free vote for all members.
It’s time to end the discrimination and bigotry. It’s time to stand up for the progressive beliefs you claim to have.
It’s time Mr Turnbull to stop bowing down and throwing your ideals out the window because you are scared of being rolled. Stand up Mr Turnbull and actually lead this country, because so far since you took over from Mr Abbott not much is that different. He may as well still be in power pushing his bigoted hard right agenda.
It’s time Mr Turnbull. Make marriage equality law. Do it now!