We’re hearing a lot from church leaders and religious lobbyists in the debate over marriage equality and the forthcoming postal survey.
We’re also hearing a lot from marriage equality advocacy groups, LGBTIQ lobbyists and we left-wing, bleeding-heart, ’social justice warriors’.
But, what do normal, average Aussies, think of this whole thing? How are people in conservative, LNP voting parts of the country feeling about the debate?
Chrys Stevenson takes the temperature.
COMFORT IN THE STORM
On Facebook this morning, my local Sunshine Coast Community Board provided a valuable insight. It should give comfort to all the LGBTIQ people who are really struggling with a barrage of hateful fear mongering. And, perhaps, it might give pause to conservative politicians, most of whom who seem to be completely out of step with their constituents’ views on this issues.
In a discussion on marriage equality which drew well over 500 posts in just a few hours, I calculated that, roughly, 95% were in strongly in favour of marriage equality.
I wasn’t the only one to comment on the strong turnout for the “Yes” vote:
TR: Well by the look of comments the vote yes will be a landslide. What a stupid waste of tax payers money. Just make it legal already. 122 million to find out what we all already know. It’s a resounding yes to marriage equality.
SSE: … this does make me feel happy! Just on this thread alone majority want a yes
THE ORIGINAL POST
I’d like to share the original post and responses, below.
William H: For all those who do not understand.
There is no reason to say YES to SSM marriage. Don’t let them take away what Marriage is, being a union between a woman and man, leave that alone and protect that for our future generations. Equality I agree with, as in equal rights, and that can be simply fixed without destroying what marriage within our society means.
How to fix the problem, it is actually very simple, in the marriage act, married couples do get treated differently to same sex partnerships, all that needs to be done, is fix it with in the act, to protect Same Sex Partnerships, let them celebrate and recognise that celebration as same sex unions even supply a certificate to legalise it, Same Sex Partnership are already being registered and recognised by the birth & death and marriage department.
Its only the section of the law that needs to be and simply fixed. We do not have to give away what marriage means to many others. Equal right can be achieved without destroying marriage. William H
Please share, to educate others.
THE RESPONSES CAME THICK AND FAST
JG: Oh William. This is just the chuckle I needed over my morning coffee.
RS: You are a bad human
LL: if you don’t like gay marriage William, don’t marry someone who’s gay. It really is as simple as that!!!!!!
MH: Everyone has a right to marry the person they love. I will be voting for a change.
SS: Why not worry about righting all the wrongs in your own life and strive towards being a better person before dictating how others should live .
AS: The ignorance and fear mongering is disgraceful! Love is love, you cannot accept this then please do not reproduce
KF: It must feel lonely being left behind in a world which is moving towards love and acceptance. Please don’t breed mate.
NH: For me, marriage is two consenting adults who wish to spend the rest of their lives in a loving relationship.. sex of the couple doesn’t come into it. Just two committed people who love one another…
EK: Whilst I understand your comment, do not agree with it in any way. I think the meaning of marriage has changed over time and is no longer viewed with religious context to many. It is important to realise that with our ever changing and developing world theories and meanings change over time – and marriage is something that has changed. I recently married my husband , and for us getting married was a way of “sealing” our love and commitment to each other. Everyone has the right to love and be with whoever they want, to be treated and viewed with equality.
DB: Gee thanks William for letting us know our rights. And speaking of rights, everybody should be equal under the law and you can’t help who you love. Marriage is a legal contract and same sex people want the same benefits of law as straight people, and who are you or anybody else to deny them that
BC: Not hard to see who he votes for, just look at his page…a Hanson supporter through and through…homophobic and xenophobic…
CR: Who cares if you are black, white, male or female? If you love something or someone one, what is wrong with that? Love is what this world needs. Not ignorance or hate, and i am not saying yr comment is hate fueled, but an ignorant one.
LIH: Mmm I understand that you have an opinion and that’s all good and well but how does it affect you what other people do and most heterosexual married couples divorce anyway so why can’t people just be with who they love and be recognised for it
JS: So you have actually argued for marriage equality. Interesting. No one is asking YOU to change what marriage means to you are they now, just to provide equal rights to all couples.
SSE: Not even gonna argue. But a big old YES here!!!
CH: Are you kidding me ? No reason? How about my cousins deserve to marry the woman she fell in love with as much as I deserve to marry the man I fell in love with.
KB: We shouldn’t even have to vote. Wasting tax payers money on something that should be a given. Same sex marriages shouldn’t have even had to go through all this to be allowed. It’s the narrow minded ass’s like urself that needs to be educated. Look at the divorce rate?!?!?! All the married same sex marriages I know of are lasting longer than what most marriages last here. 100% yes for me !!!!!!
RS: Dont agree with same sex marriage? Dont get married to someone the same sex as you! Problem solved. Not your business who loves who and how they wish to show that love.
AK: How does voting yes affect you in any negative way, if you don’t want to marry a gay person, don’t! Don’t stop others from marrying who they want cause you’re scared of something you don’t understand
CR: Marriage is the legal union of two people as partners in a personal relationship. That’s it! Not between a man and a woman. Between two people! We have been socialised & conditioned (some would say brainwashed) to believe that it should only be between a man & a woman but it is not so. Maybe gays being married will actually restore marriage not destroy it, because there are plenty of heterosexuals who don’t seem to have any respect for marriage!
I’ll be saying YES! Have a great day!
JP: What I don’t understand is how anybody can think it affects them, apart from same sex couples wanting to get married. Does not affect anybody else.
AW: Marriage is not “our right” being man and woman. It should be the right of ANY two people who love each other and want to commit for life to each other…… I see far more same sex relationships working well them male and female ones…. go figure, we could all learn something from gay couples
When William H was accused of being discriminatory here was the response:
CH: Technically it is just a different opinion to yours. That doesn’t make it discriminatory.
ZF: C, it’s not an opinion on whether or not he likes chocolate cake. It’s an opinion that encourages removing equal opportunity to people based on their sexual orientation, so yeah it is discriminatory.
WHAT ABOUT RELIGION
And, of course, there were some comments on the ‘religious view’:
SB: I had a Christian ceremony 11 years ago and when same sex couples can finally have the same right to that as me, it won’t change a thing.
NB: Marriage is more than a union between a man and a woman, with it comes legal rights and having the wedding (one of the best days of my life and I’m sure I am not alone there). How can you call it equal rights when I can get married with no questions asked, have our day and have the legal rights that come along with it, yet there are so many others that can’t? That’s not equal rights.
MR: ‘Marriage is a union between a man and a woman’ is a very religious way of looking at things, which is fine if you still believe in myths, fairytales and imaginary friends, fortunately it’s 2017, and religion doesn’t rule supreme anymore, time to move on and change your views to something more reasonable like – marriage is a union between two people who love each other.
CW: It really saddens me that all of these people who are preaching ‘love’, have so much hate in their heart for anyone who differs in opinion to their own
EW: Who are you to say who can or cannot make a commitment for life to another person. You are not God to order who people can love. Marriage isn’t just to provide future generations. It means that the person you are married to is your ‘next of kin’ your legal partner, your ‘other half”. Allowing everyone to choose who they love to be that ‘other half’ has nothing to do with future generations. A legal marriage makes it binding and an inseparable bond. How does it affect YOU personally William? I am heterosexual and been married for 52 years . I would never deny anyone the joy and security of a true binding love partnership. Most of my gay and lesbian friends have also been in loving partnerships for numerous years but want the security of it being legal. Some are rearing incredible children and again want the security of knowing that child will be secure and safe with the other parent should anything happen to the adoptive one.
BB: Also…the countries that force under aged girls into marriage! Is that protecting the “santity of marriage” ? As for religion !!!! how much horror has that caused in the world!!! Let’s change the world to a more happy place, especially by letting ppl who love each other be married
JL: You know for a group of people that are supposed to love everyone the religious folk in this world cause more hate and trouble than anyone else -.-
Sunshine Coasters had a very clear idea of what is threatening the ‘sanctity’ of marriage – and it isn’t allowing to loving, consenting adults of the same sex to marry each other.
RC: It’s very sad that people still want to treat someone that’s different to them as second class citizens. You should be ashamed of your bigotry and get educated on equal rights and who really has been destroying the meaning of marriage!
KD: The real destroyers of the sanctity of marriage are abuse, cheating, disrespect, lack of communication, addiction and divorce. Why not focus on stopping these ‘sins’ and let people have the choice to marry who they love. I’ll be voting YES to equality 🙂
FMac: I think you need to look more closely at what actually destroys marriage: infidelity, stress, money, having kids, alcohol or drug abuse, contempt, lack of respect, not putting in the effort, choosing the wrong person, changing, growing, having married too young or for wrong reasons, getting married on tv, treating marriage as a stepping stone, marrying someone 50 years older than you then they die – none of these reasons are exclusive to the heterosexual community. So your logic is flawed. Allow people who love each other to have the same equal rights, including marriage. It’s none of your business anyway
DB: What marriage means William? Like the many women who are abused or murdered by their husbands. Or those many who are having affairs. Then the fifty odd percent who get divorced. Marriage is a legal contract between two people, not some fantasy land.
ECS: You can marry your uncle, Aunty, and first cousins as long as they are the opposite sex, you can get married and divorced as many times as you like, you can marry someone of the opposite sex and abuse them to the point of death….but marriage equality is what is going to destroy ‘what marriage means’???
I don’t know about you, but MY marriage, is not defined by any other marriage, it belongs to my husband and I, it has nothing to do with anyone else, so I don’t understand why people think marriage equality will have any bearing on their own existing or future marriage?
NJ: how is it that marriage is sacred between a woman a man but the actual respect and sanctity of marriage itself is disrespected and taken for granted by heterosexual marriages?! I believe every couple has a right to be married especially those that keep fighting to be able to have the right to be married. Those couples will actually respect marriage and it’s sanctity. go back to the middle ages
MM: What about divorce, infidelity and that ridiculous show Married at First sight? None of those ruin the sanctity of marriage? You dear sir are a homophobic bigot who needs to keep your uneducated rants to yourself.
AND TO SUM UP
The next three posters summed it up nicely:
CMc: I’ve only got three words to say about the theory about homosexuality ruining the sanctity of marriage: “Ashley Martin website” .
RJ: 38 million people registered on an infidelity website, but yea it’s the gays ruining the “sanctity” of marriage
KMc: Sorry same sex couples want to ruin the sanctity of your fourth marriage …
Some equated the discrimination with racism (although it seems the original poster is also racist):
LG: This is like saying that African American people should have stayed sitting in the back of the bus and in the “coloured” section in cafes because at least they got to ride the bus and go to the cafe… how do you not see how that is not equality??? Being recognised legally but not being allowed a union of marriage like others is not equal.
SMCG spoke for all the families out there who just want to celebrate and honour the relationship between their loved ones and their partners – gay or straight …
I’m so excited that my daughter Haylee and Elle are getting married in three weeks.. I’ve never seen a couple so happy and in love… And I can’t wait for them to have children together and I becoming a grandparent again.. just my opinion
Or, as MW said:
Who gives a fuck. Just let everyone get married and be done with.
And a post from KS summed it all up very nicely:
Uh, the only reason I would share this is to talk about how much I disagree with this view. There IS a reason to say yes, so that they can proudly declare their loved one as their husband and wife. That title signals so much, it does not have to be between man and woman. It should be between two people that love and adore each other. End of story.
Yep, KS. Love is love. End of story.
If you’d like to have some simple arguments to use against the fear-mongering and misinformation being disseminated by the “No” campaign, please take a look at Doug Pollard’s post here.
Doug’s provided a downloadable flyer which you can use for noticeboards, neighbourhood leaflet drops, or just to pass on to your friends and relatives who are ‘on the fence’.
Vote “Yes” everyone! It matters.
This post first appeared on “Gladly, The Cross-Eyed Bear” and is republished here by permission