Unless you have been living ‘beyond the wall’ these last few months, you will be aware of the postal survey whereby Australians can vote yes or no to changing our laws to allow same sex marriage.
Our social media accounts have been filled with ‘love is love’ slogans, rainbow profile images and postal votes with big yes ticks. There is an overwhelming feeling of positivity, hope, acceptance, peace and complete, unwavering love. Finally there is a movement and it is beautiful, it bears no judgement, it is all encompassing and it is gaining momentum each day.
As with all glowing, beautiful streams of light, there must be a shadow. For to have light, there must be darkness. Yin and Yang.. Or in this case, Love and Hate.
Whilst I feel passionate about this debate, what has spurred me to write was witnessing such hate, on signs, by humans, slowing traffic on our Perth freeway.
These humans (I use the term loosely), had decided to make room in their weekday to stand on a footbridge over the freeway holding signs of hate. Expressing, as is their right in this country, their views against marriage equality. It affected me to my core, I was so utterly outraged and disgusted. I felt angry but I also felt immense sadness, how ignorant and even worse, how completely horrid to live each day with such hate inside you.
In the many conversations I have had over the years when this debate is raised, I am always taken back to being a child, probably around 10, where I was starting to wonder about my sexuality and what that was. I was enjoying a family dinner with extended family where the topic of homosexuality was raised. The view was of disgust, and, I believe if my steel trap memory serves me correctly, even an immitation of something filthy and unfathomable. Now, I’m no spring chicken so this is just shy of 30 years ago where ideals and thoughts are much different to today, however, this reaction affected me deeply.
What if I was gay?
What if I liked girls? Quite obviously my family would not accept me, what would that mean? I struggled with this, I didn’t know which sex I preferred, I had strong female friendships, did that mean I liked girls? I was still very much a child, I didn’t understand anything except that what was right was that I should be with a man, what was wrong was if I choose a woman. Love didn’t seem to matter, only the ‘right’ gender.
Now I grew up to like boys and I was allowed to be married not just once, but twice. I am currently married to a man I love, I can call him my husband, and I am his wife. It is recognised by the government, by our family, friends, work colleagues and most importantly, our children. We didn’t have to fight for our marriage, even as someone with a divorce under her belt, it was easy, it was accepted.
Am I lucky? No, this is my right, it’s not luck. It’s my right to share my life, my name, my children, with someone I love. Whether that person is a man or woman is irrelevant, what is relevant is acceptance.
Whilst I am writing this I know that there are so many who feel the same way that I do, feel passionately for equality, for love. For those of you who don’t share my opinion, I ask you this… There was a time that women were viewed the lesser sex, goodness, we couldn’t even vote, did changing our rights make this world better or worse? There was a time where a person of colour had to drink at a different water fountain, whilst this fight for true racial equality is still ongoing, did acknowledging racism make our world better or worse? And most importantly would a child raised in an abusive home whereby the married parents are male and female be better off there than in a loving home whereby the married parents are of the same sex?
This change to legislation affects those who want to be acknowledged, who want to build stronger families, who want the right to say, this is my husband, this is my wife. It doesn’t affect those of us who already have this wonderful right. Their plight is love driven, how on earth can that be wrong?
Make it equal.
LOVE IS LOVE.