Yes for equality, yes for love

An editorial from the Sunday Age:

 

On Tuesday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics will begin mailing out the postal survey on same-sex marriage.

Some behind the no campaign have conflated a yes vote with all manner of societal decay. It will impact negatively on the nation, the family, children, religion, freedom of speech and businesses.

The Sunday Age refutes these arguments and urges Australians to vote yes.

First and foremost, yes, because at its heart, denying consenting adults the right to marry based on their gender and sexuality is discrimination. Equality under the law is – and always should be – the bedrock of a democracy.

Yes, because we should strengthen families, the building block of society. Opening the doors to marriage equality will lead to greater social cohesion, not less.

Yes, because we should be thinking about the children. Allowing same-sex couples to marry – to participate in this most traditional of institutions – will further erode ingrained homophobia and help the coming generations of LGBTI youth.
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Yes, because now more than four-in-10 LGBTI young Australians have thought about self-harm or suicide, primarily as a result of homophobic abuse.

Yes, because kids should experience the joy of watching their same-sex parents or relatives finally express their vows – if they wish – and legally marry before friends and family.

Yes, because where you pray and to whom will not be affected by gay couples marrying.

Yes, because same-sex couples should never have to prove their love at the side of a hospital bed in order to hold the hand of their ailing partner.

Yes, because older LGBTI Australians who move into retirement villages or nursing homes should never feel they must hide their sexuality once again.

Yes, because “political correctness” is a meaningless red herring.

Yes, because same-sex marriage has already been legalised in 23 nations – without heterosexual couples or families being affected, or shunned. It did result in a whole lot of gay weddings.

Yes, because of the sheer, simple joy of it all.

Yes, for all the celebrants and the bakers and the florists and the caterers whose businesses will flourish from the influx of the pink dollar, should they choose to accept it.

Yes, for all the DJs and cover bands who can’t wait to play at a queer wedding, because there will be love and joy and endless dancing. And glitter.

Yes, because even though you don’t have to vote, you need to make the effort to be counted. Australians have been asked to vote on the rights of a minority. To judge whether same-sex partnerships are worthy – or equal. It’s time now to support our LGBTI community – they are our brothers, sisters, sons and daughters, our aunts and uncles, nieces, nephews and friends.

Stand by them. Vote.

And, yes, because ultimately, love is love.

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