Yesterday while I was at the gym the results of the Postal survey in Australia on the question of whether we should allow Samesex Marriage were announced. Australians have always been keen to have their say and the turnout for the vote was incredible, more people voted in the survey than did over Brexit and the US Presidential elections. 80% of eligible voters responded and of those 60% voted yes. It’s a fantastic result and the community here is understandably excited. The pressure is now on our conservative Government to deliver on it’s promise to legislate the change before Christmas.
The joy is palpable but also the relief. The campaign was not pleasant or respectful by many measures and the emboldened homophobes who were given licence to voice views that were untrue or despicable have done great harm, but we are a strong community and firm in the knowledge that the wider community has said our relationships deserve equal dignity and recognition is a wonderful thing.
For me personally this has been a struggle. At first watching our community under attack from the other side of the world was hugely frustrating. The feeling of helplessness and anger was almost overwhelming. Then came the frustration of trying to vote in this stupid postal survey in the digital age, only later almost at the deadline was I able to do it online. After those frustrations came the hurtful rhetoric like the graffiti in Melbourne telling everyone to say no to Pedos or the sky writers in the sky saying no… you couldn’t escape it.
Yesterday after the gym I went to visit my Nan. She congratulated me on the victory. We almost had a cry together, I told her how much it meant to me that I never had to ask her and Grandad to vote yes. She and Grandad couldn’t understand what the problem is, Love is love.
Victory and living well are the best revenge and now that this hurdle has fallen we are closer to marriage Equality than ever before. Well done Australia.