So I guess everyone knows about the same-sex marriage opinion poll in Australia right now. This is the story, just in case you don’t know. Back in 2004, the Howard government made some amendments to the marriage act which effectively blocked same-sex couples from getting married. Since then we have been fighting to get same-sex marriage legalized. It’s now at the stage of a postal survey to get the opinion of the Australian people. If there is a favorable result then the government have promised to act on it, but they don’t have to because it’s not binding. It’s not really a plebiscite because it doesn’t have to be acted on. Fancy that.
It is basically a super expensive postal survey that means nothing. That’s the long and short of it. Now some people might say...” that’s okay, people support same-sex marriage in Australia. It will probably get legalized. I’m not gay but I support you. Look at my big rainbow t-shirt. I’m off to the rally and I want my friends to have equality”.
I love my straight friends in rainbow t-shirts, I do, and I love their support, but this ‘survey’ has caused so much distress.
I’ve not got too involved in the discourse on social media recently. I’ve avoided it. I’ve avoided it because of what this survey has brought up in terms of hate speech to people like me and my family. I obviously can’t avoid reading everything, but every time I see anything that is running down the hate speech path I get a feeling of anxiety.
I’ve been completely astounded by what seems like a permission to say, totally outright, I can’t stand gay people and I’m going to say as much homophobic shit as I can right now. I’ve not even read much, this has been me avoiding it!!!
It’s not so much that people want to say no. Say no if you want, that’s completely up to you. It’s what is behind that. There has been so much deceit from the ‘No Campaign’. They’ve just spouted a bunch of lies. I find that so offensive. How dare they try to influence people with lies. Some people have not been backward in coming forwards about the reasons why they want to say no, and when digging deeper into those reasons it is blatant homophobia. A bunch of people have really run with that. They’ve delighted in it.
This postal survey has given a massive platform to people who just can’t stand the gays. It has been a complete battering of my community. I’m a privileged member of this community. I have never had to deal with blatant homophobia personally. I have never suffered my family abandoning me, or been bullied, or sobbed every night after school, or thought I was a freak, or been driven to suicide because of homophobia. But what about the people who have. What about the kids who have not come out yet? What about the kids who are questioning their sexuality? What about the kids who have same-sex parents? What about the trans kids? The kids who are dealing with so much stuff that reading a comment on Facebook could tip them over the edge. What about those kids?
We need to protect the children? YES we do. We need to protect them from people that make them feel less than, from bigots, homophobes, transphobes and we need to build them up. Not crush them by having some massive free for all spewing of abuse.
There has been so much emotional damage from this.
Something else I find really offensive is Malcolm Turnbull being praised for supporting the ‘Yes campaign’. You cause all this damage and then say “Oh, but really I support the queers!”
And then they say “Gawd the gays are so reactive and volatile,” whilst themselves flooding the internet with some of the most abusive shit I’ve ever seen.
To the Australian government – what a massively damaging, disgusting thing you have done. Shame on you.