Posted: 7 June, 2012
by Geoff Field
On Marie Claire's 'I Do' Marriage Equality Initiative
I applaud Marie Claire magazine for its "I Do" marriage equality initiative.
(My husband Jason and I at Marie Claire's "I Do" marriage equality rally in Sydney / GetUp! on Facebook)
I applaud Marie Claire magazine for its "I Do" marriage equality initiative. It again focuses attention on a basic human right that is denied to hundreds of thousands of gay and lesbian Australians.
All gay people want is equality. Nothing more and nothing less.
Why shouldn't same-sex couples who want to spend their lives together be given the right to marry? Until we are given that right, we remain second-class citizens.
I find it extraordinary that Jason and I, who have been together for 19 years, are still not allowed to legally marry in this county. In fact, I think it's a disgrace.
In 2005 Jason and I took part in Australia's first "illegal gay wedding" when I was reading breakfast news on 2DayFM. It received national radio and television coverage, along with newspaper and magazine articles. We hoped the attention would lead to change, but unfortunately the fight continues while other countries like Portugal and Spain lead the way.
Julia Gillard, an atheist living in a defacto relationship, continues to staunchly opposed marriage equality. I well remember when this contradictory woman once told Sky News that Australians should read the bible. She says she opposes same-sex marriage just because she does, she never gives a genuine philosophical reason for her opposition.
Recently Julia Gillard and the Labor party decided to allow a conscience vote on the issue in parliament. This is a cop out, because it seems the numbers aren't there to get laws through parliament.
And don't forget the attitude of the Coalition in this debate. Catholic Tony Abbott has forced his will on his own party; a party that has a long tradition of allowing members to vote according to their conscience.
A few years ago Tony Abbott said he was "threatened" by gays. Oh really?
The "I Do" campaign will put pressure on MPs, but realistically I can't see change happening while Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott remain leaders of their parties.
I ask everyone to support this campaign, because every bit of support from the community counts and a future leader with courage and conviction is no doubt keeping a close eye on what is happening with community attitudes.