Letter to Malcolm

pic by Eva Rinaldi

pic by Eva Rinaldi

Mr Turnbull

First of all, may I say thank you for getting rid of Mr Abbott and restoring some intelligence, dignity and respectability to the office of Prime Minister. I think now might be a good time to say that the adults really are in charge. Better late than never, I suppose.

However, I am bitterly disappointed with your betrayal of both your own previous position, and the LGBTI community (of which I am a senior member), in a) backing a completely unnecessary plebiscite on equality and b) agreeing to running it after the election.

My partner and I have been together now for 23 years, and I have been personally campaigning for, and broadcasting and writing about, marriage equality for nearly half that time.

There is no logical reason why, given the support in the community and the agonisingly long and unjustified delays we have already endured, that this matter should not be dealt with expeditiously. It is insulting and demeaning that my right be treated as an equal human being should be subjected to other people’s ignorant whims in this way.

I am a fairly resilient individual, having been a campaigner for gay rights in general since I first came out, at age 20, three years after legalisation in the UK. I have had to become pretty philosophical about setbacks over the years, having had to pick myself up and dust myself off many many times.

But even I find the bitterness, bigotry and vitriol (frequently wrapped in saccharine faux concern) emanating from those who (to put it bluntly) consider me a lesser kind of human being, hard to take. The thought of what months of this will do to the more vulnerable members of my community fills me with dread.

So I am very very disappointed in you, and hope you can discover some courage, which I know you do not lack, and apply it to finding the will and the way, over the next couple of months, to get your new cabinet to make marriage equality party policy, and put your personal weight behind getting a bill passed before the next election. Instead of continuing to pander to the petty spite of those who would, if they were honest, rather see the likes of me dead rather than wed.

Yours in sorrow.

About the author

Veteran gay writer and speaker, Doug was one of the founders of the UKs pioneering GLBTI newspaper Gay News (1972) , and of the second, Gay Week, and is a former Features Editor of Him International. He presented news and current affairs on JOY 94.9 FM Melbourne for more than ten years. "Doug is revered, feared and reviled in equal quantities, at times dividing people with his journalistic wrath. Yet there is no doubt this grandpa-esque bear keeps everyone abreast of anything and everything LGBT across the globe." (Daniel Witthaus, "Beyond Priscilla", Clouds of Magellan, Melbourne, 2014)