We Stand For Marriage Equality in Australia

Photo by Olym Li

By Daniel Clark — Co-founder, Rushfaster

I don’t agree with the process that has been decided by the government to deal with marriage equality in Australia. We all know it’s expensive, it’s non-binding but it’s also incredibly insulting to the gay community. Having said that, it is unfortunately the reality that we now find ourselves in. And it’s important that we show Australia and the international community how we feel about this — by taking part in the survey and delivering a strong yes vote.

Firstly though, let me deal with the thought that many people share around companies standing up for social issues. I feel that only truely great companies stand for more than just business as usual. Companies like Apple, TOMS, Qantas and Tesla along with some of the brands we sell like Patagonia, S’well, Ethnotek, Memobottle and many others have shown us that capitalism, despite its flaws, can be used to serve a higher purpose. Companies should be involved, and more companies should be using their work as a force for good. That’s why our company makes a stand on the things we believe in. Marriage equality is one them.

The issue of marriage equality is complex to some. To us it’s simple. We feel that if two people who love each other want to get married, they should be able to. If two people want to adopt, or through surrogacy, raise a family, they should be able to. If two people want to spend their life together, the good times and the hard times, they should be able to and they should benefit from the same legal rights and social status that is afforded to everyone else.

So what complicates it? Unfortunately, religion complicates it, politics complicates it ($122m complicated) and opinions on the wellbeing of children in same sex families complicates it. Religious views aside for a moment, the very fact that we don’t have an inclusive society is harming more children right now, it’s killing people.

Now, for the touchy subject of religion. In my opinion, religion is a set of values from which religious people live their life by. You’re free to choose whichever religion you want to follow or if you don’t follow one at all. But what you’re not free to do is force other people to abide by your values. You are not free to impose your way of life on someone else, everyone should get to choose that for themselves. The fact is that marriage is so intertwined with the legal and social system, it is now no longer a religious issue.

But this issue shouldn’t be about religion, politics or anything else. It should be about what’s best for people. The people it touches. Homosexuality is a natural phenomenon — this is proven. To deny a social & legal status to a group of people based on something completely outside of their control is simply cold hard discrimination. There is no other word for it. Gay people should not be forced to feel like second class citizens, because of someone else’s point of view. Gay children (and adults) should not be suffering because something natural is perceived as ‘not normal’. Gay people should not be denied access be by their partner’s side in hospital. Gay people should not be made to feel that suicide is a better option.

Guys, it’s 2017. Australia is an educated, free and supposedly progressive democracy. On an international level, we’re well behind on this.. and to be honest, it’s embarrassing. But more than that, our failure to resolve this is harmful to people. At Rushfaster, we believe in an inclusive Australia where people are free to be themselves.

I encourage you to please make sure you and your friends are enrolled correctly (you have until midnight 24th August): http://www.aec.gov.au/. After that, I would also encourage you to think carefully about the people who will be affected by your actions and the kind of country you’d like to create for your children. Please don’t waste this chance to make Australia a better place.

Daniel & The Rushfaster Team.