When love conquers all…

I don’t consider myself to be an overtly political person. While I’ve been known to enjoy the occasional Facebook rant from time to time, I tend to stick to the rule that my Nanna taught me when growing up: 

“If you want to keep friends, for goodness’ sake, don’t discuss religion, money or politics”.

It’s served me well thus far, for the most part.

HOWEVER.

There’s some things I believe in, so vehemently and intensely, that it’s actually impossible for me to stay quiet (sorry Nan).

I believe in trust; I believe in kindness; I believe in integrity; and I believe in equality.

Because more than anything else, I believe in LOVE. 

Yesterday, the results of a Nation Wide postal vote showed that the majority of Australians support same-sex marriage. 

After a painfully long and divisive process of campaigning for both sides, and a shitload of anxiety caused for those wonderful LGBTQI people just living their best lives, finally Australia has showed it’s support, with the majority of voters saying “yes”.

As a staunch supporter of the LGBTQI community, I am relieved to know that this first hurdle has been conquered. At last, there has been an irrefutable show of support.  There’s so much joy, and relief, and celebration in the air, and I’m thrilled for my friends who have been waiting with baited breath for this outcome.

But, I’m also really pissed off.

I’m pissed off that this postal vote is not legally binding.

I’m pissed off that this outcome does not immediately translate to the establishment of new laws. 

I’m pissed off knowing that there’s going to be more opposition within parliamentry quarters, as the people who lead us (and are supposed to be reflecting the wishes of us, the Australian Public) continue to bring their personal opinions into the decision making process, thus delaying what should be a clear cut solution (after all, majority rules, yes??). 

I’m pissed off that it cost something around 122 million dollars of tax payers money to obtain these results. 

I’m pissed off that for the entire time this plebiscite circus was underway, my friends, my family members, and my colleagues had their personal lives publically scrutinised, in the most offensive and degrading ways.

And I’m pissed off that the kids and teenagers who are growing up RIGHT NOW and coming to terms with their own sexuality, have had another layer of doubt and anxiety applied to the way they feel about themselves as people. They had to live through the shitstorm of this plebiscite, and even though the outcome was positive, who’s to know how much damage has been done to them in the meantime?

We are supposed to live in a non-discriminatory society. There are laws all over the place that determine how we should treat each other. You aren’t supposed to treat people differently on the basis of gender, race, or disability, or SEXUAL IDENTITY . The law says so.

Judging by the events of the past few months, apparently those anti-discrimination laws only apply until the Government decides to open up a postal vote for all Australians to have their say on how gay Australians get to live their lives with their spouses. It didn’t take long for all of those wolves in sheep’s clothing to show themselves, pitchforks sharpened, hatred flowing. But, you know, that’s not discrimination. That’s just….opinion?

No. No. No.

Opinion is opinion, and freedom of speech is one thing; however when that opinion, and that freedom of speech is directly used to cause harm to another person, or group of people based on their attributes, then, my friends, you are being discriminatory. 

Just saying.

I’m yet to hear a solid reason as to how a heterosexual person will be harmed by a gay couple getting married. As far as I can see, if you aren’t gay, and you don’t support gay marriage, then DON’T GET GAY MARRIED. Too easy. But stop trying to dictate the rules to those who are. 

The thing that was so quickly forgotten during this debacle, was that “the gays”; that vague, impersonal, collective term, are REAL PEOPLE. Really, real people, living really real lives. Raising families, going to work, paying mortgages, paying taxes. Yeah, taxes. You know, those taxes that were used to pay for this damn plebiscite. They’re doing all the same things that the “non-gays” are doing, and they’ve been doing exactly that for years. 

Watching these wonderful people have their lives dissected, piece by piece, as Australia looked on, has made my blood absolutely boil.

I heard on the radio yesterday that “no” voters running businesses may be given dispensation to refuse to serve goods and services to same sex couples planning their weddings. Cake suppliers, wedding venues, celebrants and ministers, among others, have been so concerned by this upheaval to their lives that they can’t fathom how they could possibly move forward on this.

Please, please, PLEASE. 

If this kind of dispensation is approved, and you are a business owner who feels this way, put it out there. Send me your details. I would gladly compile a list of businesses for my gay friends to avoid. And you know what? As their ally, I’d take my money elsewhere too. 

I’m really glad Australia finally said Yes. It should have happened years ago, WITHOUT a plebiscite, but here we are, and that’s a good thing.

The Boy Child said to me yesterday, upon hearing the news, 

“So, does this mean Clementine’s mums can get married then? That’s good”.

And he went back to his video game.  

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all just be as accepting as kids are?

Gay, straight, in between. Who cares? It’s just LOVE, and it conquers all.

Start planning those weddings, darlings. You’ve waited long enough.

Big love,

Rysie.

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