Last night as I was finishing my phone conversation with a friend and after the contents of the conversation I was completely awake and any chances of going to sleep in the next half hour were non existent. With the rest of the house asleep the only thing to do would be to have a quick scroll through Facebook and update the contents for the day when I found this.
The marriage debate has been hot on everyone’s lips this year in Australia as our PM Julia Gillard openly states her support to keep marriage between a man and a woman stating that this is the traditional value and should be upheld as such. In addition to this christian groups are bleating claiming that God invented marriage even though history proves to the contrary. I do not want to give you another history lesson on the origins of marriage and what the church have done to try and claim its divinity and “sanctity” we can now look forward to a better and brighter future.
Queensland is the first state to allow same sex civil unions a move that was voted upon last night and today has sparked discussion about the ALP conference on Saturday where the issue for the country will be put to a vote. While Gillard claims she will never allow for the definition of marriage to change that it will stay as “between a man and woman” the pressure for this to be changed is at an all time high. Some discussion amongst the gay community about the promiscuous stereotypical gay man has been raised and while this is a valid issue we need to look at the bigger picture of human rights and equality. No-one should be discriminated against for their sexual preference, age, status, race, disability and bringing in same sex unions is just the first step to equality in society.
One of my good friends in Queensland has been with his long time boyfriend for 19 years and can finally have their relationship recognised by the state and also a good time for straight friends and family to buy them wedding gifts after years of it being the other way. I asked him a few questions about what this meant to him personally and for Queensland in general.
What does having civil unions in QLD mean for you and your long term
What is means for us is that we can now “Legitimise” our relationship
with our family and friends. Sure we have been together 19 years, but
our relationship does not have that “anchor point” date that all our
friends who have got married have. My partners Mum recently posted on
Facebook photos of all her children at their weddings (she has 4) – and
there was no photo of Mal or I in spite of the fact we have the longest
standing relationship of all her children. That day made me realise how
important this was to me.
Does it concern you that it has taken this long for it to happen?
When my partner and I met in 1992, our more immediate concern related
to his employment in the Army, and how our relationship could
effectively end his career. The decriminalisation of that in 1993 was,
to us, a massive relief, and to be honest, in those early days, the idea
of a union or marriage was just unheard of. I think in comparison to
other countries like Spain, Brazil etc, this has taken far too long to
come. But if you asked me about the idea of Marriage in 1992, I’d have
told you were dreaming.
What are your plans for the big day?
We haven’t discussed it yet, it kind of has been something on the
radar, but not something we ever discussed. In real terms, for us, it
will be a simple ceremony with the important friends and family there,
nothing fancy, and nothing elaborate. And a kick arse party after!
Can I be the flower girl?
Of course you can! If you dress up like a 7yo ballerina
Do you think this will help change the marriage law for Australia?
I hope it does, because until the Marriage Law changes, we remain
It is time for the prime minister of this country to realise that clutching to her old ways are getting her nowhere fast, there is more support for it than against and you are creating a more equal and fair society what have you got to lose? Not only that you will win the support of the gay and lesbian population of Australia and be the first female prime minister and the one who legalised and stood up for equality. That being said credit needs to be given to QLD Premier Anna Bligh for supporting the bill and helping it get through and to Deputy Premier Andrew Fraser for starting the initiative. Together we can make a difference.