#DearPM: Marriage Equality (17 of 30)

Good morning everyone,

It’s day 17 of the #DearPM project, and overnight I have received another burst of submissions to get me to day 20. I only have ten more spaces to fill to reach the end. You can make your submission to damien@djomeara.com.

17-of-30

Today’s submission is from a community leader and great ally in Cameron McLeod. I know Cam as a hard-working and dedicated person, who is making a significant difference in the communities with which he works.

Today also marks the release of Australian Marriage Equality’s campaign to remove discrimination from any marriage equality bill that is presented. You should click here to learn more!

Take care everyone,
Damo

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

1 December 2016

#DearPM: Marriage Equality (17 of 30)

To the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP,

On Tuesday it was announced that there will be a senate inquiry into the Marriage Amendment (Same Sex Marriage) Bill, and I echo the calls of marriage equality advocates that this inquiry must result in equality by 2017. I would go a step further and push that this inquiry result in marriage equality early in 2017.

One of the things we must remember about a senate inquiry, is that they are a bit exclusive; by their nature, they receive submissions from those most engaged on an issue. That is, those directly affected, and those opposed. This project has allowed me to get submissions from people who aren’t necessarily in the middle of this debate. Submissions from people like my mother (letter number two) represent someone who wouldn’t think to submit to this new senate inquiry.

Which brings me to today’s submission from Cameron McLeod, a father, community leader and one of the hardest working people I am lucky enough to know. And Cameron represents a recurring theme from allies that submit to this project: if one of his children identifies as same-sex attracted, will they come out to a world with less discrimination than that which exists today? To paraphrase Cameron’s words, let’s make “the most inclusive, welcoming and safe environments for our children.”

To The Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP

As a father of three young children, I find myself awake most nights tossing and turning unable to sleep. You know better than anyone how complex our world and daily life is becoming. Sometimes I wonder what life will be like for my kids as they transition from being innocent children, becoming more independent through their adolescence and becoming adults. Will they be safe? Will they make good decisions that will keep them out of harm’s way? Or could someone else harm them?

Everyday my wife and I try to create the most inclusive, welcoming and safe environments for our children. We encourage them to be curious, to be adventurous, to make mistakes and to learn from them. We are bringing our children up to be respectful, compassionate and ethical. We encourage them to put themselves in the shoes of others.

I am seeking advice and guidance from you – as a husband, father and leader. What if one or more of my children is gay? I don’t lie awake at night concerned about their sexuality, I do about them being discriminated. 

I support same-sex marriage. I believe that a civilised society is a society that affords the same human rights, the same access to justice, the same equality under the law for every single one of its citizens.

Marriage should be about love and respect, not discrimination. Australia is at its best when we value equality over prejudice and fear. Marriage equality will help remove discrimination against same-sex couples and their children. 

I urge you to push our country in the direction of justice and equality. 

Yours sincerely

Cameron McLeod, Victoria

With Cameron’s important words, I have to ask:

  • What substantive action has the Attorney General advised the Prime Minister they should take to ensure discrimination is removed from the Marriage Act?; and
  • What is the timeframe that the Attorney General advises for Australia to achieve marriage equality?

This is my seventeenth 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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