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dam and John still can’t get
married. Neither can Jenny
and Jane. Nor can you. Not
unless you’re a heterosexual
that fits society’s mould . But together, we have
built a movement to demand equal rights as
equal citizens of this country. Tog ether, we have
pushed the issue into public consciousness.
Tog ether, through the persistence of the LGTBI
community and our supporters, people now
know Adam and John and Jenny and Jane can’t
get married. From the stre et to column inches to
the air waves to the corridors of parliament house,
we have made this a national issue. And nationally
the majority of Australians support our rights.
This week The Age/ Nielsen poll put support for
full marriag e equality at 57%.
We have done g ood work, but I still can’t get
married. And that has consequences.
Recent La Trobe University research has shown
that 75% of LGBT young people suffer some form
of homophobia. Two thirds have be en verbally
abused and one in five have been physically
abused be cause of their sexuality.
When our laws privilege one group in society
over another, when one group has the right to do
something and the other does not, discrimination
is legitimised. Discrimination in this country is not
just tacitly state sanctioned, it is state legislated.
Those denied equality are easy targets for abuse -
if my government says I ’m not equal to you, why
should you have to treat me as if I am?
Few would dare arg ue that the homophobia, abuse
and alienation this discrimination breeds isn’t in
some way causally related to the shocking statistic that
LGBT young people are around six times more likely
to attempt suicide than their straight peers.
Whilst we are on the street in the sun waving our
placards and raising our voices, we are not just
there because we still can’t get married. We’re not
just fighting for marriage equality. We’re fighting
for equality. And if we win, it will mean much
more than a rush of matching tuxedos or an
increase in demand for white suits. It will change
the way young people conceive of themselves. If
they grow up believing they are equal, they will
have an unwavering conviction they deser ve to be
treated as such, and the disprop ortionate rates of
suicide, self harm, homelessness, drug and alcohol
abuse and school drop -outs among st LGBT
young people will surely decline.
We have been fighting since the little man
with bushy eyebrows chang ed the laws
to specif y that marriag e is an institution
between a man and a woman to the exclusion
of all others. We demonstrated each year on
the anniversar y of this change. Over the last
two years we have intensified our fight. Tens
of thousands of people have taken to the
pavement every few months. No politician
gets through an evening on Q&A without
expressing a view. Out politicians of all stripes are
rebuking the party line.
We are at a turning point. Marriage equality
isn’t ine vitable. California’s experience has surely
taught us that. The majority are with us. But the
conser vative forces are strong . Adam and John
and Jenny and Jane still can’t get married. Neither
can you. Not if you’re not heterosexual. This is
our moment. They are waiting for the fire in our
belly to go out. They are waiting for us to lower
our heads and our fists out of despair. They are
waiting for us to give up.
We cannot. I won’t. I won’t stop fighting for your
rights. Please come and fight for mine.
To find out how you can get involved in the Equal
Love campaign visit equallove.info and check out
the information for your state
The winner of the wedding package competition
was Lauren Blank. She and her partner have
been together for six years and they are very
excited about getting married in beautiful Berry.
Their winning entry was:
We celebrate our love every day,
But 14 February is perfect to say:
MARRY ME at gabby’s in Berry,
With Shantele & wowphotos, so very merry!
WEDDING PACKAGE WINNER:
A Nielsen poll
put support for
Julie and Jayne
celebrate their vows.
Joanna and Sally on
their wedding day
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