The biggest current affairs issue in Australia at the moment
Stress less. I am not here to tell you to vote one way or the other.
As important as this current affairs issue is – I am not going to bully you or guilt trip into voting the same way that I do.
That’s not what I’m here to do.
Some of my friends are voting yes. Some of my friends are voting no. Some of my friends aren’t voting at all.
I love them all the same anyway. And that’s what I am here to talk about.
The marriage plebiscite is sparking a lot of debate in Australia at the moment.
Enough for me to ignore that Pauline Hanson just wore a burqa into parliament. Something that would usually insight a rather long rant from me.
To me – the concept of marriage equality is far more important than Hanson’s antics.
Because if you ask me it’s absurd anyone needs to vote on it. It seems to me like a box we should have ticked a long time ago.
Sort of on the same level as brushing your teeth or throwing out off milk. It’s not a question. You just do it.
Should gay people have the same rights and opportunities as straight people?
Yes. I believe that they should. Not everyone feels the same way. Guess what? That’s not a crime.
Religion and homophobia
Spoiler alert. I am a Christian.
I also endorse agnostic beliefs but mostly I am Christian.
Complicated, I know. That’s not what’s important though.
What’s important here is that I actually understand how religion can be an intense and essential thread in the fabric of someone’s life.
So, if I bought in to the mumbo jumbo about the story of Sodom and Gomorrah or I thought that 10,000 year old concepts were still applicable today – I would probably vote no.
I don’t though. I believe as society has evolved so should have our approach to religion.
Not everyone sees it that way and you know what? That’s okay.
To touch on a vibe I’m sure you’re familiar with if you read my blogs, it doesn’t make them a bad person. It just makes them different.
Now I believe that any society where marriage equality doesn’t exist is an outdated society. And what’s more, I believe passionately that I am right.
Here’s the kicker though, you probably believe that you are right.
And Joe down the road probably believes that he is right.
I’ll bet with the same amount of passion.
Maybe even more passion.
All of that is okay because really, none of us can know for sure who is and isn’t right.
All we can do is look at the hand we’ve been given and draw our best conclusion.
All you and I can do is look at the cards we have, take advice from the people around us, learn from the rounds we’ve already played and do the best we can.
Not everyone has the same cards and they certainly don’t have the same experiences. More importantly, none of us know for sure we’re going to win.
So, cut your friends some slack. If you stop being friends with someone based on how they vote, you’re not a very good friend.
After all, not so long ago people believed whole heartedly that a man in boat made the sun move across the sky each day.
They believed whole heartedly that the world was flat.
They believed whole heartedly that women were inferior to men.
Their passion and the loyalty to their beliefs didn’t stop them from being wrong.
I’m sure it didn’t make the fall back into reality any easier either. It would have hurt a lot when they hit the ground.
So, on a purely selfish note. I would like to point out that I believe it’s going to be a bit of a stab in the guts for people who vote no and realise one day that marriage equality will not result in a moral breakdown of our society.
All that will happen is that a few more people will be wearing wedding rings on their fingers. Crazy, right?
How should you vote Australia?
You should vote in the way that will help you sleep at night.
The one that will allow you to walk out of the voting both with no regrets.
That’s not going to be the same the answer for everyone though. Like I said, that’s okay. Don’t be pressured into voting for something you don’t believe in.
You may look at the people around you and think to yourself, some of these people make some good points.
You may feel scared of the reaction from the LGBT community if you vote no.
You may feel scared of the reaction from some of your friends and family if you vote yes. Or if you don’t vote at all.
Well, that’s not what this is about.
It’s not about people bullying you into voting one way or the other.
It’s about you getting to have your say.
It’s about walking into the voting booth and telling the government about the kind of Australia that you want to be a part of.
After all, isn’t that the whole point of a democracy? Having your say.
Now let me make one thing clear.
If you are the kind of person who is going to stand outside a voting booth with “God hates fags” signs or shouting abuse at people who you think ‘look’ gay, then I think there is a special place in hell for you.
Additionally, if you form gangs to go after people who you know oppose gay marriage, if you start egging politicians’ offices because you don’t agree with them, I don’t like you very much either.
You can believe what you believe. You can express what you believe.
So long as you’re not a dick.
Free speech is about the right to express yourself. Not about dragging people through the mud. And I refuse to stand by and let people use a concept like free speech to be an asshole.
All the politics and the ‘love is love’ and the religion aside, this is the number one reason I am voting yes.
Everyone has the right to do whatever the hell they please so long as they aren’t hurting anyone.
Now if one bugger sends me an email saying that gay marriage hurts the families of the people who have to deal with the fact their kids are gay, don’t bother.
Nothing hurts more than being disowned by a parent. So, don’t give me that shit.
Ultimately, you don’t have the right to tell somebody else how to live their life.
You don’t see me walking into the houses of Muslims or Jehovah’s Witnesses and telling them they worship the wrong God, do you?
See, I might not always get it right but I do try to avoid being an utter twat.
Like I’ve said before. I could have it all wrong.
Every word I am typing could be a bunch of bollocks.
The thing is though, no one is stopping me from writing it because that’s my prerogative.
I can say what I want and I can do what I want. If I hurt people in the process the boys in blue will come sort me out. Bank on that.
Gay marriage…or marriage as I like to think of it, doesn’t hurt anyone. It promotes love and that’s something we need more of in this society.
That said, vote for the Australia you want to see.
Even if it’s different from the Australia I want to see.
You’re allowed to do that and don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise.
After all, this is a free country. You’d be a fool not to take advantage of it.
Be kind, my loves.