So we wanted to take a few minutes to talk to you about something that’s super important to us.
In case you hadn’t already heard, last week was the start of the vote for marriage equality in Australia.
First, we want to acknowledge that for many of you, especially fellow Canadians, you may be surprised this issue is still up for debate.
We were surprised too.
We’ve had marriage equality in Canada for over 12 years, even before we were out gay men. And it’s something a large portion of the Canadian LGBT community has never had to worry about or fight for in their lifetime. So it’s a privilege that we had never really thought twice about.
And when we moved to Australia in 2011, we just assumed that it was going to be like home; similar in culture, values and all liberal freedoms.
But when we found out, that gays weren’t allowed to get married, and that in some states gays weren’t (And still can’t in the Northern Territory) allowed to adopt, I remember the exact moment when you feel that change in your confidence, you feel the weight of not feeling good enough, of not feeling accepted.
And those feelings persist across the LGBT community. There are also mountains of stories of injustice, like when couples are kept separated in hospitals in the final stages of a partners life.
And another couple we met who had to travel the world in order to have a child through surrogacy, But in Australia if the paternal father dies, the child will be torn away from the only loving parent that they have left in the world and will be put into foster care. And the list goes on and on.
It’s not good enough.
So for years we joined the marriage equality fight with our amazing Australian friends and their families. We joined the rallies, we signed the petitions, we marched on government conferences with tens of thousands of people.
The country has even consistently polled nationally at a 70% approval rating FOR marriage equality.
But the Australian government has blocked it at every turn. And even now their supposed best solution, is holding a postal plebiscite. A national vote conducted by mail that aside from costing hundreds of millions of dollars to prove something we already know, is also not even legally binding.
If it results in a no vote, the government will do nothing. If a yes vote, especially if only by a small margin, they still may choose to ignore it and do ABSOLUTELY nothing.
Worse still, a postal plebiscite is designed to notoriously disenfranchise youth under 30, for who marriage equality approval is at its highest, but who tend to move houses more often, may be travelling or generally not have a permanent address. Drastically increasing chances for a suppression of the yes vote.
And to the no campaigners, putting up posters and distributing mailouts claiming that gay couples instead of loving their children are far more likely to beat and to rape them and to anyone dumb enough to believe it.
SCREW YOU, you IGNORANT idiots.
So we need everyone’s help to get the votes in because a win for equality is nowhere near guaranteed. Send outs started last week and you need to send them in by October 27th!!
We’re overseas but have made our arrangements to get our vote in. If you’re Australian, don’t put it off. Get your YES vote in now.
For our friends and family everywhere else talk to your Australian friends and remind them how important this is.
Engage discussion but most importantly just drive action in any way you can. This means so much to so many people and you have the chance to change their lives, and their children’s lives, forever for the better.
Good luck to everyone. Stay strong. And we’re really hoping to attend some surprise weddings next year.
If you want to join the conversation about marriage equality in Australia visit our post on our Facebook page.
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Chris & Larry