#DearPM: Marriage Equality (15 of 30)

Good morning,

We are half-way, it is letter number 15 and I’m a bit exhausted. Not that I’m doing all the work, but it’s more work then I anticipated coordinating all the submissions. That’s why I’m so appreciative to anyone who has submitted (and it’s not too late: damien@djomeara.com)

15-of-30

Today’s submission is from Amanda Clayson, who is a life-long supporter of the LGBTI community. Amanda puts forward a passionate and undeniable case for marriage equality, and stands in solidarity with our community.

Very proud to be sharing another great letter.

Take care,
Damo

The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP
Prime Minister
Parliament House
CANBERRA ACT 2600

29 November 2016

#DearPM: Marriage Equality (15 of 30)

To the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP,

We’re half-way through Prime Minister. I hope you are enjoying hearing from all these people as much as I am. I also hope that you are truly considering the awesome power you have right now to stand up and allow a free vote in parliament on the issue of marriage equality.

Today’s submission is from Amanda Clayson, a lifelong ally to the LGBTI community, Amanda recently volunteered her time with the GLOBE Community Awards. She is passionate about seeing this change happen, and soon. I’m with her, Prime Minister. I hope you are with us too!

Dear Prime Minister

I was raised by a very ‘liberal’ Mum. By liberal I refer to her being open to new ideas, willing to respect the ideas, beliefs and way of life of others – not necessarily her voting preference. Isn’t it ironic that as leader of the liberal party you are not of the same persuasion?!

My Mum immigrated to Australia from London in 1969. She came here for a better life, to raise her planned family in the sunshine of a developing society. One of the deciding factors in leaving her family and the bright lights of the big city was the inequality rife within the boroughs of England’s capital. She was, what would now be termed as, an elite athlete and defected from training for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics because her impending nuptials were strongly advised to become her priority.

It was within the ranks of TEAM GB and as Valedictorian of the Brompton Oratory that the fire was lit within her as a ‘straight ally’. Due to the laws of that era many of her peers were forced into lives of secrecy with their same sex partners and she simply couldn’t fathom what the perceived difference was. Her enduring ethos was that we all look the same on the loo, even the Queen. Why the big deal?

My sister and I were raised in Australia enjoying weekends of vivid colour. The sun, sand and skies of Perth bathed our skin and the feathers, sequins and rhinestones of some of our Mums male friends decorated our quintessentially Australian sunken living room. To our minds they were creative souls following their chosen identities, they were fiercely protective of us and ever so handy to have around when we had to dress up for book week. We were simply equals, fellow human beings, they just had more high heels than our Mum.

I am now fiercely protective of my LGBTI friends and acquaintances. My eight year old daughters Godfathers are gay and as they are currently not afforded the simple right to commit to one another in a legally recognised ceremony I have made the stand to abstain from marriage also. I will not rub the fact I am afforded this rite of passage because of my sexual preference in the faces of my dearest friends because they live in a country so non-progressive they can’t enjoy this pomp and ceremony for themselves. They can’t celebrate their love in the same way I can. Why?

The foundations for the party you lead were laid by Robert Menzies. This was a man whom I was taught at school about being an advocate for the ‘forgotten people’ of Australia. On your own web site his opening address is quoted;                                                                                                                                                             “….what we must look for, and it is a matter of desperate importance to our society, is a true revival of liberal thought which will work for social justice and security, for national power and national progress, and for the full development of the individual citizen, though not through the dull and deadening process of socialism.”

This was the kind of policy and principles that attracted my parents to Australia. Your current attitude is one that is making me reconsider where I raise my daughter. I want her to live in a society where not only can she freely decide to enter into same sex marriage if she so desires, she can also attend the weddings of her LGBTI friends.

Nothing has really changed since Menzies inaugural address Mr. Turnbull. Your current stance on marriage equality contradicts the very formation of the Liberal Party being one with a “shared belief that Australians should have greater personal freedom and choice”.

C’mon mate, this is your opportunity to do something you will be truly be remembered as a Prime Minister for. I’ll even invite you to my wedding.

Kind Regards,
Amanda Clayson, Victoria

At the half way point and with Amanda’s passionate letter, today I have one simple question:

  • Will you give your party a free vote in parliament on marriage equality in this term?

This is my fifteenth 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.

Yours sincerely,

Damien O’Meara

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