We Have Equality!

Marriage Equality

Today Australia FINALLY made history. We joined so many other countries in the world who offer equality to their LGBTI+ community where marriage is concerned. Yes, we can finally get married!

Congrats to all of those friends who married overseas and with the passing of the Bill are finally now, officially and legally, married here too. It’s about damn time.

It really is something that hits so hard.

After attending so many weddings over the years of friends and family. Having, since 2004, to listen to the words enshrined by the Howard government into the marriage act declaring that I would never, as far as they were concerned, be allowed to marry.

Watching as Bill after Bill had been submitted and defeated over the years since.

Having read the Dean Smith bill and thinking, “I can live with that”.

Having sat through hours of Senate Enquiry hearings where people gladly put their hate on display, and thankfully were countered by the many that showed support.

Having been made to feel wretched leading up to and during the survey into my rights, mostly driven by so-called Christians.

Hearing the result of that survey, a resounding 61.6% of the country voting YES! Though understanding that it still meant 2 of every 5 people were against our union.

Seeing the Bill pass through the Senate.

Listening to hours more of amendments repeated in the House of Representatives that sought to enshrine a level of discrimination into the law that would reach far beyond marriage equality.
Finally seeing the count after a division was forced, that just four members of parliament were in opposition. It was great to see.

So yes, we finally join every other English speaking country in the world as well as others, including Austria, who also passed marriage equality today. I look forward to my upcoming nuptials.

I applaud all of those who fought for this, I know I didn’t do that much in the grand scheme of things and there were tireless fighters who were at the forefront of this for the last 20-odd years. I also applaud those who forty plus years ago began the marches that we continue today for equality.

This truely is the last hurdle we had to overcome, with this passing it will be understood when I’m in a hospital and I declare, “He’s my husband” there will be no quandary and no quarrel, there will be a time soon when there won’t even be a second look to that statement and for that I’m grateful always for those who came before and those who will come after.

Thank you Australia, thank you friends and family, and thank you David who has been with me for over 20 years and will finally be able to become my husband… if he still wants to.

And finally, asking for a friend: Does the Lego Discovery Centre at Chaddy have a wedding gift registry? :-P

Partyroom Politics

Marriage Equality is the subject for today in the party rooms. They will, hopefully, be discussing Dean Smith’s private member’s bill and, hopefully, they will approve it for discussion and a vote in parliament.

The government is crazy if they think they can survive NOT putting this forward. It has gone on long enough, over 20 bills have been put forward and rejected over the last 10 or so years. This is an inevitability they must face. They can either be the party that lead the way to marriage equality in Australia, or they can get out of the way at the next election.

For those who worry about the religious exemptions in the bill fear not for two reason:

  1. The gays are just being added to a long list of exemptions that already exist for clergy. They currently are exempt from having to marry people who have differing faiths, from themselves or from each other, divorcees, and even people they don’t think should be married. They can currently just say, nope, I don’t think you’re right for each other, I’m not going to be the one to marry you. So we gays are just being added to a list that already exists, they aren’t making a new one.
  2. The churches will come around, and likely quite quickly. Their numbers are falling, the are bolstering them with rhetoric about the evils of the gays and their abhorrent lifestyle “choice”. But they are fighting a losing battle. Sure the Biebs and other music, and the brainwashing is bringing folks to Hillsong. But that can’t save the dying ideology that is structured religion.

    We know the churches will come around because they need the money and because we have historic precedent… black people and the church. The church was a driver behind segregation and preventing inter-racial marriage, but these days it’s mostly nothing to them. They embrace black culture and in the US the African American community have weird, in my opinion, embraced the church… the teachings of which once and continues to drive the KKK and other white supremacists.

So let’s not fear the religious exemptions as they exist in the bill. Let’s get married and let the church sort itself out. We don’t need them any more now than we did yesterday.

It’s time to join the new world of liberty and equality for all.

Still not us… :-/

Still Not Us

Malta, a country predominantly religious with around 88% of the population declaring themselves of some Catholic persuasion, passed Marriage Equality via a parliamentary vote. Just as Germany did recently, just as we COULD do now.

In Malta the vote went ahead and only had a single vote against, the naysayer cited his conscious religious objection, as a free vote in Australian parliament would allow our MPs to do too.

It really is time Australia… let’s do it.

Barry is Gay!

barry-manilow-2000x1333

Colour me surprised! Barry Manilow has come out as gay!

On a serious note though… I’m glad he has had love for the past 40 years, and I’m even more glad he can now live his truth and be seen in public with his partner and not just “his manager”.

I know some will say “who cares?”, “why is this our business?” etc and to those I say “I care”, and “It’s nobody’s ‘business’.” but I’m glad Barry Manilow has shed the burden of his ‘secret’ that he has kept and clearly something that has played on his mind, consuming his thoughts.

If you’re keeping up with the kids of today none of them care if a music star is gay… look at the likes of Troye Sivan 4.4 million followers on YouTube, very out, and still getting adoring messages from female fans day in and day out.

I’m left still feeling that all the guys who play in elite sports and are almost forced by society to remain in the closet, faking relationships or worse, putting themselves and the ladies they date through a lie to protect their reputation, scared to live their truth.

In a country where debates about marriage equality are still a thing and where MPs think and publicly state that you can “pray the gay away” (paraphrasing Abetz), it’s no wonder we have no elite AFL, Rugby League or Rugby Union players out and proud.

May those with weird thoughts leave the public arena soon and take those ideas with them and may the younger generations live their truths from younger ages.

While I don’t spend a lot of time wondering what my life may have been like had I been brave enough to come out at school, I’m glad kids these days are doing so. Everything that happened in my life has lead to where I am now, and I’m very happy with my lot in life, but there sure was some heartache there in my youth.

So to wrap up, congrats Barry… you be you!