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marriage equality

When I opened my letterbox today my heart skipped a little as I spied the contents: three marriage equality postal survey envelopes. I called out to my son and we excitedly tore our envelopes open, grabbed a dark pen, ticked YES and resealed. Just like that. We’d done our part in the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey.

But just imagine how significant this moment would be for gay people across Australia right now; the people who are actually life-invested in this thing. How confusing it must be for LGBTI teenagers, whose lives are being dissected, debated and decided on and who aren’t old enough to have their own vote on the matter.

There’s been SO much on social media. Banners, discussions, arguments….

So I decided to ask Jam Jar – she of the deft quip and candid opinion – her take on marriage equality. Always a staunch supporter of human rights, I knew without asking that she’d be voting YES. But her response still surprised me…!

Fun and Games and Weddings

marriage 1960s

JJ at her wedding in the early 1960s.

Why do people actually get married? At all? We are, mostly, used to gays and lesbians living together. If they want desperately to get married, let them.

Why do heteros get married at all? In the 50s women still didn’t have the pill and co-habitating without parental approval was not on (“How could you do this to me?” rings in my ears). Marriage, sooner rather than later, became necessary. In our state with a small population we had to cope with, “’What will people think?” That loathed phrase covered a lot of things like dancing outside the Town Hall after a concert, eloping to South America or just being inappropriate.

So, of course, these days – the 2010s – 2020s, LGBTIs should be able to get married. They shouldn’t be deterred by the old-fashioned, bigoted and self-righteous reasons of by-gone days when doing anything unconventional brought a warning (“Just watch yourself my girl”).

Heteros don’t have to be able to conceive to get married – so why should LGBTIs?

LGBTIs could buy rings for each other and then have fabulous engagement and wedding parties. So yes, parties at Granite Island or on MV West Lake Princess which would be huge fun. Jewellers, wedding planners, tailors and dress-makers and caterers would have an enormous bolster to their finances and the number of jobs would increase.

LGBTIs quite often like to be different. They can be really entertaining, eccentric and brilliantly creative. Why would they want to be tied down? i.e. MARRIED. OK, people do want to be saddled for (much of) life even though marriage so often does not work out.

It’s worth, however, taking the plunge, to take the risk of failure because so often it just works. It works for young and also older couples past the child-bearing years.

Heteros don’t have to be able to conceive to get married – so why should LGBTIs?

Yes, let’s have marriage equality. Enough of all this pontificating. Why deny a perfectly harmless life-style to anyone who wishes?

My Take

wedding 1990s

My own wedding in the 1990s.

I laughed out loud when I read that my mother very likely didn’t want to get married at all. I know she was forced to leave her job at Channel 7 when she became pregnant, and a lot of her friends had to leave their jobs as soon as they got hitched. But today she’s probably bloody right. I did get married but sometimes I do wonder why? I still use my own name. My husband and I have separate bank accounts. We have separate assets. At the time it seemed a fun thing to do. A party, a pretty dress, flowers everywhere, all our mates. A great excuse to go on an overseas trip!

Sure the gay and lesbian community can have a party, pretty dress, flowers, mates etc but the thing that my husband and I took for granted – the marriage certificate and all its legalities – they can’t.

There’s the difference. I had the choice. Others don’t. For me it’s all and only about that basic human right.

And I haven’t actually read or heard a convincing argument from the NO camp. The survey is clear. It asks one question. “Should the law be changed to allow same sex couples to marry?”

All this crazy talk about bestiality, incest and pedophilia. FFS! We are talking about consenting, non-related, human adults! Not dogs, cats, horses, children, relatives or groups of people.

And bringing up the bloody Safe Schools program and gender fluidity and boys in skirts. I’ve searched but I can’t see where the survey mentions that anywhere. It’s not being voted on. Ironically the government will decide if Safe Schools runs or not.

Oh and the “traditional marriage” values argument. Well “traditionally” girls were married off at a very young age after being bought by their husbands from their own fathers. Not a time we want to go back to! I certainly didn’t promise to “obey” my husband in my marriage vows. In fact I think we said something pretentious like, “I promise our lives together will be fun and adventurous and full of travel.” (Wishful thinking.)

And the kids? “Think of the children.” Again, we are not voting on whether same sex couples should have children or not. People of child bearing age will continue to have children no matter which way this vote goes. And JJ made the excellent point that heterosexual couples who are way beyond child bearing age are free to marry once, twice, thrice if they so wish.

This is not “Brexit” or “Trump” where decisions affected everyone who voted. This vote ONLY affects those who we are voting about: people in same sex relationships who wish to marry.

I get that some people are voting based on their strict faith but I actually think a lot of people are voting NO because homosexuality makes them feel uncomfortable and they are really saying NO to homosexuality itself.

They just don’t want to admit it.

For me the survey may as well ask: “Do you believe in human rights or not?”

Happily Ever After

In an attempt to get an across the board opinion from three generations (an 80 year old, 50 year old and 20 year old) – I asked my son for his remarks. Watch this space… he promises to write something.

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We're FINE being over 40. We're all grown up... but sometimes we don't feel it. We're the same person we've always been and we don't like to be told how we should dress, act or be! We do like to have a laugh, swap stories, learn and be inspired by each other. Check out our social under So_FineAfter40. xxSus