|Photo credit - University of Newcastle Australia
I am not very gay at the moment.
With some media outlets sprouting stats of over 70% of our population in support of equal marriage rights in Australia, I kind of feel like I'm preaching to the choir these days when I try muster discussion on the topic.
But I also feel I can't let that stop me because the moment I pause for breath someone else seems to feel obliged to fill the silence with a contrary opinion.
Can I just openly admit here since, as stated above, I'm primarily amongst friends, that what I really wanted to write there was how they 'fill the silence with rubbish' but I'm trying to be courteous and polite in the thrust and parry of ideas. But it's becoming increasingly difficult.
I stand for the position our society is one of equality where discrimination should be seen as a bad thing. For me, it's a really, really simple concept.
So why is it so hard for some people (maybe 30% of our population?) to understand that?
A recent news item has been a couple on the anti-marriage equality side of the argument saying they'd divorce if the legislation got through. To be honest, I laughed and moved on.
What I didn't realize, as I'm sure this couple didn't, was how fantastic their declaration would be for the pro side of things. Seriously, they look like teens stamping their feet and attempting to bite their noses off to spite their faces.
Ultimately, since they've said they will still stay together, it isn't possible the couple can divorce under current Australian laws. And they know this. So it's grandstanding. For me, it was a rather beautiful way to say, 'We've got nothing. We're desperate.'
But my post doesn't even have much to do with that event, except it eventually opened a discussion on my blog which I want to sort of share with you. I say sort of, because I'm not going to mention names and try embarrass the people I was messaging on my wall.
If you want to catch up on the latest gay news, and the crux of the discussion I had, here's a few posts to bring you up to speed:
It was the 'Uninvited' one which I shared on my Facebook wall and which brokered the following which I wish to refute here.
Some of the responses were well written, but it still came down to people who have something not wanting to let others have it because of the same selfishnesses and fear of change and interpretations of their God and the string of homophobic reasons which I usually encounter in these threads.
But, as I say, the spelling and grammar impressed me: although it was a bit like they'd gift wrapped a turd.
To paraphrase Tom Waits, my fingers have been drinking - so here we go.
First there was some vague sort of comparison of the issues of gay marriage and smoking.
Then there was a statement made about the trouble being caused in Canada since they've legalized gay marriage.
Apparently, the civil rights of the general population are being eroded and people can't even voice an opinion contrary to gay marriage, with fines and even imprisonment now on the cards. It's a horrible crime against freedom of speech.
I remind you this is an argument for not legalizing gay marriage.
I assume the freedom they're talking about in Canada is the right to rib on gays for being gay. Or do they mean the over the top silliness of gays now expecting to be treated equally and fairly? It's truly a tragedy how the rights of everyday folk to mistreat or verbally bully gays has been eroded in Canada. I think that was the argument.
Seriously, I don't think the writer understood his own point. It's kind of like it was okay to dis on blacks prior to racial equality and now it's not. I'm right in saying that's a good thing, yeah?
So I'm not sure about you, but I think it's a good thing if people aren't allowed to say rubbish things about gay people because they think they're beneath them and shouldn't have the same rights.
Not more rights - the same rights.
It should not be allowed that others can dis on gay members of our community and demean them and persecute them and say they aren't of equal standing in our community. I can't believe I even have to state this!
What harm will gay marriage do? It's legal in places around the world already. Where are the stats? Where is even your anecdotal evidence?
Besides that so obviously pro-gay but anti-bigots and bullies Canadian one, of course.
Once you accept that people have the right to do what they want with their own bodies, even if other people think it's icky or wrong or against their own personal religion, then everything becomes a little better in the world. Less nasty.
Speaking of which, here's a rather beautiful open response from the brother of the man who has decided to divorce his wife should gay people be allowed the same rights as him:
A response from the brother of the man who says he’ll get divorced if same-sex marriage is legalised.
As to the closing point of that particular read, that we should all contact our federal members, I couldn't agree more. And here's a link to help you do exactly that at GetUp!
I want gay people to be able to love and live and marry if they choose. I want gay people to have choices and to feel valued and be on equal footing in our society.
And it doesn't just effect them - it has a bearing on their families as well. Their grandparents, parents, siblings, kids, grand kids, in-laws, cousins, uncles and aunties. Friends. It effects our whole community.
Plus, I want young people who are gay to realize they belong in our community and are welcomed and valued. It shouldn't be a worse journey for them to find their place and feel accepted than it is for straight kids. Adolescence is hard enough.
This issue of having gay couples seen as equal and normal and part of our community is bigger than if it makes someone feel icky enough to cry foul at how it'll tear at the very fabric of the traditional meaning of the word marriage. Which is just pathetic nonsense.
After all, gay used to mean happy. Wouldn't it be super nice if it did again?