Good morning Australia,
It’s day two of the #DearPM project. I’m having one of those moments where I wish I actually planned ahead. It is one of those things that has been on my mind for ages, and I suddenly found I have time to devote.
It has been wonderful how friends, family, and even strangers have been eager to put forward a submission, in fact I have a couple lined up for the next two days. If you want to put forward why you support marriage equality, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today’s letter includes a submission from my mum. She is an amazing and strong woman and I’m very proud to be her son. I’m not gonna lie, I had a lot of feels reading what my mum sent through.
The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP
CANBERRA ACT 2600
16 November 2016
#DearPM: Marriage Equality (2 of 30)
To the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP,
As we continue to discuss the need for marriage equality to be put to a free vote in parliament, I think it is important that we share the view of different people. This issue doesn’t just affect me and my husband. This issue is not limited members of the LGBTI community. Marriage equality will be positive for all Australians as it brings our nation further forward as a place where everyone can belong.
Parents have a lot of expectations of their children. My own parents were excited for me to grow up, go to university, get married and have children. I feel like my mother, in particular felt a great loss when I came out, because I wouldn’t be able to have the life she had imagined for me. With a lot of time, and a lot of cups of tea, we reached an understanding and respect. Importantly, we never lost love for one another, and her position on marriage equality evolved in that time.
I asked my mother to share why she supports marriage equality, and this is her response:
Our son announced to me that he was gay about ten years ago.
At that time I lived in hope that this was just a phase he was going through. My feelings were all fearful and negative. My husband and I are not worldly people we live in a very small rural community. We are involved, and very attached to our Catholic faith. Our family is our focus.
It is amazing how over time the feelings that I experienced then have been transformed to such an opposite view.
My son has shown, and the gay community have taught me about true love and respect for my fellow man. I feel that I am a much better Christian now because I have seen and experienced the wonderful and all-encompassing respect and love that the gay community shows to all people regardless of their choices in life.
I know that I have been enriched by this experience. And, instead of the negative feelings that I had when my son first “came out”, I now feel proud and privileged to be the mother of a gay son.
To grant the recognition of marriage to the gay community would, I feel, be a mature and respectful decision. I’m hoping that our politicians take a positive approach to this matter.
Let’s always celebrate the commitment that two people make to each other. Surely that can’t be a bad thing.
Robyn O’Meara, Victoria
I would like to know answers to the following questions:
- Which LGBTI organisations did you or the Attorney General meet with in consultation on the best path to achieve marriage equality in Australia?
- What does the Attorney General advise now that a plebiscite on marriage equality has been blocked by the Senate.
- What advice have you received from the Minister for Social Services with regard to the effect that marriage equality will have on families when a child comes out as LGBTI?
This is my second letter in a series calling for a free vote on marriage equality in the parliament, and in your current term. A free vote is the correct way to legislate for marriage equality. You could allow this to happen today.