Wednesday, 23 October 2013

A better way to drive the bus: where to next for true marriage equality?

Marriage forum in Melbourne Thursday 24 October 6 pm – be there!

From me as an individual and not on behalf of any organisation.

I strongly urge people who are less than satisfied with the process  - all of that process since 2004 - that led to the less than satisfactory outcome in the ACT re marriage to RSVP and attend the function below tonight.

I naturally ask people to be respectful at all times to all people, including panelists and organisers.

Simultaneously, it’s also time to ask panelists the hard questions in a respectful way. Direct questions. Questions that go to the bedrock of what community really means.

I don’t see myself getting married any time soon. In the words of Max Kauffman, “I never knew what real happiness was until I got married. And by then it was too late.”

Ok...seriously. In one sense marriage doesn’t affect me personally. But it does in another way...

In the last three days I have communicated with dear valued friends with broken hearts and torn emotions – both for themselves as individuals and as the amazing community contributors and leaders they are. When highly emotionally intelligent and principled people such as these people are in this much pain – Houston, there definitely has to be a problem.

I have admired the dignified and mature restraint on social media from intersex, trans, gender diverse and strongly allied people who clearly feel the ACT scenario is a case of “thrown under the bus.” Yet I can feel that same pain as experienced by my close friends seeping through my computer from those who I don’t know as well – or even those I don’t know at all. All these people are empathic and want to celebrate the ACT scenario with and for their cis allies – but obviously cannot do so with a free and full heart.

No-one need be thrown under the bus. No-one needs to be left at the back of the bus. This is *BGILT Australia in 2013. We all have a right to have our hands on the wheel - and we are better off when we drive the damn bus together. We can go faster and go further when we work together. The fantastically co-operative process that led to the addition of 3 attributes to federal law this year, including the world-first intersex protection - shows that win-win co-operation can be done - and done very easily.

We therefore have a right to ask in a win-win way – what’s stopping similar co-operation happening re parts of the marriage campaign?

And more to the point – we have a right to some bloody good answers. And “bloody good” is about as butch as I get – so when I say it, you know I mean it!

*BGILT – I’ve put in that order coz it’s alphabetical. It has nothing to do with my being bisexual and putting B first for that reason – honest and for true. J

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