Today a date was announced for a non-binding Plebiscite on Marriage Equality. Our Prime Minister before he took power said he was against the idea when his predecessor put the plan in place but he has stupidly stuck to all the policies of the man he ousted for being incompetent. The wording of the question has also been announced which will go to the polls on February 11th next year.
When I heard that the date was announced and that $7.5 million dollars of taxpayers money will be given to each side of the campaign to spend on advertising, I was genuinely sad and anxious. The huge concern with the plebiscite from the LGBT community is the damaging effect hearing the vitriol from the No campaigners will have on LGBT youth and questioning people. There have already been statements from Australian conservative politicians likening gay people to pedophiles and the old slippery slope argument saying we’ll next be marrying livestock or a lamp.
We didn’t need a plebiscite to change the marriage act in 2004, rewording it to say that marriage is between a man and a woman. Why do we need a damaging public vote now? I don’t get to vote on whether my straight friends are allowed to marry and I would never vote to deny the right to any loving consenting adults.
If people consider themselves my friend they will vote yes. A vote for no is a statement that you think I’m lesser than you, not worthy purely based on my sexual orientation. What I do in the bedroom is the business of no one but who is with me and it has no bearing on my ability to commit in a loving relationship.
There is still a chance that the legislation to have the vote will be blocked by the opposition who are steadfastly against it but that may in turn mean marriage equality is a few years away in the hands of the next government, but it also may force the hand sooner.