Today’s thought, is inaction the same as opposition. I don’t know if that’s always the case, but for marriage equality it certainly feels that way. When someone espouses their beliefs, identifies themselves as an ally, but when it comes time for hard work and action, they make excuses or put up unreasonable hurdles.
It’s day 11 of #DearPM:
Today’s contributor, Lani Watt is a writer and ally who is dedicated to seeing equality in Australia. Like many of us, Lani is frustrated by the inaction of all sides of government. What we want at this point, is for everyone to work together and get a free vote in parliament. It makes me wonder if Turnbull and Shorten have ever had a meeting about this issue, we’d certainly like them to catch up with the purpose of working out an answer to: How do we get this through?
Instead, it feels like this:
As always, more submissions are welcome. Just send them to email@example.com.
The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP
CANBERRA ACT 2600
25 November 2016
#DearPM: Marriage Equality (11 of 30)
To the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP,
Today’s letter is from Lani Watt, and I think the interesting thing that she raises is that inaction feels the same as opposition. By stalling on marriage equality, you perpetuate a belief that you are not in favour of this reform.
It’s interesting, because as a nation we have always known you to be an advocate for the LGBTI community, however your lack of action, when you are solely the person who can make this happen, is speaking volumes. Many Australians feel like we are forgotten.
Dear Prime Minister Turnbull,
It is impossible for me to rationalise a thought process enough to give dot-point, succinct reasons why I, a supportive ally of the LGBT+ community, am in favour of marriage equality in Australia. Simply because opposition to it in our current society has no plausible rationale and it wouldn’t be dot-points, it would be a small novel. I am writing for my beautiful LGBT+ friends, family, colleagues, and fellow Aussies, and standing beside them in emphatic and unwavering support, proud to have them in my life, but saddened this letter should even need to be written at all.
Shouldn’t the power of politicians, given the current state of affairs of our world, be more focused on things vitally important to protecting the safety and wellbeing of their nation as a whole, establishing ourselves as a cooperative and valuable member of the international society?
However, that would first call for you and your colleagues to begin to view the Australian community in unity, and not harbour segregation, prejudice, and archaic mindsets, lingering far behind a large proportion of our world. These mindsets are not only harmful to the wellbeing of the LGBT+ community, it continues to indicate the Australia political system believes they should be second-rate citizens of our country. Not acceptable, Mr Turnbull. You have the power to rectify it.
I have one vital question that I wish you, and all other politicians against Marriage Equality, would answer – Why should the love in my relationship, your relationship, the relationships of your colleagues, and all other heterosexual couples in Australia be superior to any couple who identify as LGBTQIA?
In addition to that, I would like you and your colleagues with this same mindset to respond to the Australian community with a plausible reason evidenced by qualitative evidence on how letting people of the same gender marry would be damaging, harmful, or otherwise negatively impact on Australia. I have yet to see a single scrap of such evidence supporting the argument against Marriage Equality. Nor have I seen any such effects on countries who have made it legal for all to marry.
Do you really want your country to be labelled more backward than the current state of affairs in the USA? Perhaps the whole US political system is on tenterhooks with their newly-elected government, but at least those in love over there can legally marry each other. In that sense, they’re leaps and bounds ahead of us in basic human right, which is more than I can say for the close-minded outlook of the future of the world that some Australian politicians have.
I am a writer, and I will continue to write LGBT+ characters and stories as long as there is breath left in me. Not only to continue to show that there is no difference between the love of LGBT+ and heterosexual people, but also to keep contributing to, and engaging others in, the awareness of equality in our world, all over the world, no matter where we live.
One universally prominent election has members of the LGBT+ community now living in fear of their future, and even their lives. Why? Because prejudice and discrimination against them is still harboured due to people like you, in positions of power, refusing to step up and embrace the diversity of their countries, rather than encouraging segregation and exclusion on a simple concept such as marriage.
Why do I support marriage equality? There is only one reason. Because I’m a human. Why should any other reason be necessary?
A person’s gender should not be the sole reason why they cannot legally commit to each other in marriage. A person’s gender should not be the sole reason why they cannot do anything, and I ashamed to live in a country where our Prime Minister believes it should. Votes count, Mr Turnbull, and at the next election, I will surely only be putting my number in the box for a candidate who openly supports marriage equality, and equality for their nation as a whole.
Lani Watt, New South Wales
Let’s take on Lani’s point of view that inaction is equal to opposition:
- Why does the Prime Minister oppose a free vote on legislation that would see marriage equality passed in this term?
- What meetings has the Prime Minister had with the Opposition Leader about working together to pass marriage equality in this term?
This is my eleventh 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.