Same-Sex Marriage In Australia

Note: This was Originally Published on September 23rd 2017

Ok, it’s time for me to come back from out of the shadows. It’s been a while, but I feel I need to come back now to discuss a matter that’s taken Australia by storm in the last few months. And so it’s time for me to get involved in the Same Sex Marriage debate. Now let me say one thing, I will be taking an unbiased side to this issue. It may at times seem like I’m arguing for one side or another, but let me be clear, I’m just doing what any good reporter would do. I’m going to try to keep this just and fair, because I’m a good person and a good reporter (hopefully). I honestly just feel like it’s time for me to write about this.

Ok, let’s do this.

The Same Sex Marriage debate began a long time ago. In fact, no one really cared about any of this until John Howard altered the Marriage Act to make the statement that marriage is between one man and one woman. That was the moment that really began all of this. It set the pretence for what would occur in the next decade and beyond. And so, over the next decade or so, many attempts were made by various politicians to change the act to redefine marriage so that it could account for all types of relationships. And every single attempt made, all 22 of them, were swept aside. The last attempt had no traction at all, with only Bill Shorten supporting it. And so, inevitably, a 23rd came about. This year, the pendulum began to swing yet again. And it hasn’t stopped. A postal survey was decided upon after the Labor Party, the Greens and the Crossbench Senators all voted against a parliamentary vote (kind of ironic per say), and the survey, at a cost of $122 million of the emergency fund given to Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, after being passed through the High Court, was sent out. And so began the debate, one that quickly and inevitably turned into a mess of a fight.

Before we get into the whole mass debate that has swept the nation, let’s just take a minute to have a look at the potential reasons for why this is all happening, and something that actually happened back in 2008. The reality is that this is all happening so that Same Sex couples can be recognised, and so that they can gain the same rights as all other married couples in Australia. But there’s one thing that’s wrong with that. Back in April 2008, then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd wanted to give more recognition to LGBT rights in Australia, and so made and announced reforms to the recognition of same-sex relationships in taxation, health, employment, superannuation, aged care, and other areas. The reforms were made, so why argue over this whole thing still today? Maybe it’s because same-sex couples want the right to marry, and to adopt children. They want equal rights, and in some aspect that’s fair enough. But they have got a lot of the same rights as other married couples. But anyway, let’s continue.

And now onto the debate itself. Now the Yes campaign has been going all out. There’s been advocation everywhere: signs, door knocking, rallies, support on social media, and the list goes on. And the No campaign, somewhat started by Cory Bernardi and his Australian Conservatives Party, has also been doing a few things too, with Bernardi himself speaking out, the Party creating a banner for people to use on Facebook that states ‘It’s OK To Vote No’, just like the banners for the support of same sex marriage created for the Yes campaign. And there have been a few incidences over the past couple of weeks that have changed the way it’s all playing out. First, there were a few students at Sydney University running a stand advocating the No vote about a week and a half ago. And that’s fair enough, they have every right to express their opinion. So they had signs, they were selling food, and just expressing their opinions as is their right. But then things turned ugly when people who were against the No campaign, other students, went over to the stand and trashed it, smothering food over the posters, throwing food at the people running the stand, and it just devolved quickly. Then, earlier this week, an 18 year old girl was let go from her job as a party entertainer by her female boss, who believed the girl was a homophobe after she applied the ‘It’s OK To Vote No’ banner to her profile picture on Facebook. The boss, Madlin Sims, posted to Facebook saying she let her go because of the issue, labelling her as a homophobe and stating it would be bad for business and that she shouldn’t be near children if she was going to be a homophobe. But again, the girl, named Madeline, had every right to express her opinion as a Christian, and being fired because of her opinion is way over the top, especially when her boss wrote in her post to ‘Vote Yes’, expressing her own opinion. What is going on? And then, the AFL and NRL went and changed their logos to say YES, and were absolutely blasted for it before taking it down the next day. And as if that wasn’t enough, it all crossed the line today. The Yes campaign finally went too far. I’m honestly really sorry if I’m sounding biased right now but this is a really serious matter. The line has been crossed. Tonight, and I witnessed it myself, the Yes campaign decided to send out text (SMS) messages to all those people eligible to vote on the electoral roll, saying ‘The Marriage Equality Survey forms have arrived! Help make history and vote YES for a fairer Australia.’ They also attached an email address to the Vote Yes campaign website, which I will not be attaching here because this is an unbiased article. Now the manager of the campaign Alex Greenwich spoke out and said that ‘The campaign is using every resource available to make sure fairness and equality are achieved for all Australians. The campaign has a responsibility to encourage every Australian to post their survey and we have done this through door knocking, media, advertising, social media and SMS messaging. It’s so important to reach as many Australians as possible and remind them this is a vote about fairness and ensuring every Australian is equal under the law.’ Ok, so it’s fair enough that they’re encouraging people to vote in the survey, but they’ve crossed the line by actually telling people how to vote. And the major problem with this method of advocating opinion is that it’s a massive invasion of privacy. People do not want these messages. The Yes campaign is being killed by what’s been occurring this week. Reporter and analyst Andrew Bolt made a great comment this week on his show, The Bolt Report, when he said that the one thing he has heard so often this week is this ‘I was going to vote yes, but then I heard/saw this and now I’m voting no.’ It’s just going too far. The entire thing is a mess. We all know that even if the vote is a no, the Marriage Act will be changed if Bill Shorten comes into power in the next election anyway. So why waste $122 million on all this?

Look, this is what I think. I think that no matter what, love is something that’s so amazing, so spectacular, so special. Why fight over love? There is so much more to love than just marriage. So there really is no point continuing to argue over this. In all respects, love is a wondrous phenomenon that is a part of humanity, and we all hope that we will find love in our lives, in all its many forms. *Just a bit of a tangent and an advertisement, I am currently in the midst of writing a book all about the natural wonders of humanity itself. I’ll keep the loyal followers of this blog up to date, but yeah, it’s still in the works, hopefully to be completed soon.* So leave love alone. Don’t argue and worry about something that doesn’t affect so many people. I hope everyone can find love in their lives. I hope everyone has that wonder. Because it really can have a major effect on human life.

JJ

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