Marriage Equality – Why Australia Needs to Evolve

Marriage Equality – Why Australia Needs to Evolve

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Picture this: You’re in a café, and you’re standing in line behind someone who orders a tuna sandwich. You dislike tuna and would never order it yourself, so you immediately feel disgusted. You think that tuna sandwiches should be illegal, because you don’t like them. Does this sound reasonable? No, because you understand that we all have different preferences. You’re more than happy to keep your opinions to yourself, as you know that it’s none of your business. You don’t become offended, or uncomfortable about a decision that will have no impact on you.

Why should marriage equality be any different? Society has evolved a lot throughout the years, but unfortunately same sex marriage is still illegal in Australia. According to the Australian Marriage Equality’s most recent survey, 64% of Australians support marriage equality. This is a significant increase from the previous 2004 survey, which found that only 38% of Australians supported marriage equality, but our society still has a lot of evolving to do.

Famous comedian, Ellen DeGeneres, is widely known as being a proud marriage equality advocate. Many years ago, Ellen performed in a comedy act, and she said that some people believe that a marriage should be a union between a man and a woman only, as it has been this way since the beginning of time. This is a weak argument, as change is inevitable and it often helps our society grow as a whole. If we didn’t evolve, things such as racism, ageism and equality issues would still be occurring. Isn’t it about time that marriage rights evolved as well?

As a straight female, I have no experience with these issues, and can only advocate for some of my friends who have to battle these problems on a daily basis for many years. I have witnessed people experiencing the pain of realising that they may never be able to marry the person that they’re in love with, and it never ceases breaking my heart.

I would like to share something with you that I am likely to remember for the rest of my life. It was a life altering moment for me, as I felt things that I had never felt before. I attended a wedding a few months ago, and one of my gay friends was there with his partner. After witnessing the newlyweds’ first kiss as a married couple, I remember glancing at my friend and feeling taken aback by the mixture of pure longing, sadness and defeat that was evident on his face. When he caught my gaze, he turned to me with a bittersweet smile and said words that I know I will never forget: “I’m happy for them. It just makes me sad that I may never get married.” His words left me completely speechless. My friend is usually a very positive person who jokes around and makes everyone laugh, so I didn’t know how to comfort him. It was at this point that I realised just how important marriage equality is.

There will always be people who are against things that you believe in, and they will always have excuses for their opinions. When some people say that a union between gay people will ruin the sanctity of marriage, I can’t help but think of some celebrities whose marriages have lasted only days. Kim Kardashian’s first marriage only lasted 72 days, but gay people are going to destroy the sanctity of marriage? Sounds legitimate to me.

A person’s sexual preference is only one aspect of their personality. Gay couples love each other just as much as heterosexual couples, and all they want is to be able to spend the rest of their lives with the people that they love. As human beings, we should accept love in all of its forms. There’s already plenty of hate in the world, so why add to it, especially when you can choose love?

You can help Australia accomplish its goal of marriage equality. Don’t be afraid to sign petitions, write to the government, join clubs, or even create awareness of marriage equality by promoting it through online mediums, such as blogs. Do everything that you can to let your voice be heard. Marriage restrictions are outdated, and Australia needs to evolve.

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References:

Australian Marriage Equality, Public opinion n.d, Australian Marriage Equality website, viewed 3 June 2015,
< http://www.australianmarriageequality.org/who-supports-equality/a-majority-of-australians-support-marriage-equality>

Ellen DeGeneres – The Beginning – about same-sex marriage and dating a goat 2010, video recording, YouTube

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