Thursday, 20 October 2016

AME chair Alex Greenwich calls for urgent marriage equality vote

I agree. We've bloody well had enough of our lives being judged and debated, of who we are being the subject of a national discussion about our fundamental human rights. Tired of being the target of a 2,000 year old book which has little meaning in the modern world. Sick to death of the self righteous so called moral guardians of society thinking they know more about our lives than we do.

Now gay independent NSW MP Alex Greenwich, chair of Australian Marriage Equality, has called for an urgent parliamentary vote. The reason being that the debate will continue until the issue is decided, along with the mental health harm it's causing within the LGBT community.

It's hard to describe the feelings when who you are is debated on TV and the media by people who don't know you and have no idea about the issues you face. No idea about your love for your partner. Making moral judgements about you based on your love for your partner.

Last Monday a clip from the ABC's Q&A had one panel member ridiculing stopping the plebiscite because a few gays will get "hurt feelings". FFS. Just no idea. Yet there she was on national television spouting this diatribe in some kind of position of authority on the matter. Talking about us like that.

Like I said we've just had enough of it. Just vote in the parliament and stop exposing us to the hate. 
It looks like the proposal to have a plebiscite on marriage equality in Australia is not going to get off the ground. The plebiscite has always been a legally unnecessary political device. When it was first conjured up it was by people who wanted to block marriage equality not those who wanted to make it happen. That reality was never lost on LGBTI people. The demise of the plebiscite will not be mourned by LGBTI people. 

As expected, the Labor Party has opposed a same sex marriage plebiscite, but there's still hope this won't mean a lengthy delay for marriage equality. 

The political process that has brought us to this point has been a time of great anxiety for the gay community. All too often we have watched on as observers in a debate about our dignity. Now that it appears that the plebiscite is no more we ask our politicians to move swiftly to defeat the legislation. The swifter this is done, the sooner we can move forward towards a parliamentary path to marriage equality, and hopefully achieve this long overdue reform by the end of year. 

The gay and lesbian community never asked for this plebiscite, all we have ever sought for is to be treated the same as everyone else and have a parliamentary vote that allows us to marry the person we love in the country we love. 

Over the past 14 months we have sadly been debating process, rather than the substantive reform. Let's be clear, amending the marriage act to allow for same-sex and gender diverse couples to marry is a straightforward change of a few words, which will cost nothing and benefit so many. Alex Greenwich, Sydney Morning Herald