For those outside of Australia, super quick synopsis: Australia STILL doesn’t have marriage equality… due to reasons such as lack of political backbone of their leaders (six prime ministers in the last nine years seems to have scared them somewhat), certain religious stances being given the status of moral arbiters, masses of intentional misinformation and the fear of some GIANT GAY APOCALYPSE or something!
Either way, cutting a long story short, Australia is currently facing a postal vote on the matter. Now: as a UK citizen with the Brexitan tinnitus of racist, ignorant lies still bashing my eardrums, and as a citizen of the world: waking up everyday to the turd in my bed that is the Donald Trump Presidency… I am not going to sleepily sit here with my fingers in my ears, covered in faeces, feeling comfortable that folks will definitely "do the right thing” - even after a quick Google search of current polling revealing these varyingly favourable figures…
Firstly, personally: 63/58/79/57% doesn’t feel anywhere near enough… secondly, that 30/32% is as scary as a misogynistic, homophobic, racist narcissist in The White House… but the thing that really interests me is the 6/11% saying they don’t know… I mean I agree in so far as: I also don’t know why the hell we are even being asked such a thing - how is it a debatable subject?! Especially as the actual issue doesn’t "directly" affect a lot of the people being asked (other than all the ways it does actually affect everyone like: love, care, compassion and respect for your fellow human and how that shapes a better, more cohesive and evolved society... but, ya know... other than THAT...).
Just by legitimising it as a question, I fear it can trigger a narrative in people’s heads, along the lines of, “well there must be something wrong with it otherwise they wouldn’t be asking us…” and then sadly in some cases, “but I can’t be bothered to research it properly myself because it doesn’t actually affect me so… I don’t know…”. But, the question has been asked and the vote is happening so how do we go about getting people informed, that don’t want to do the research?
Well, providing funding for both sides of the campaign seems to have been the answer… which, I mean sure: give money to support equality – just that sentence alone sounds inarguably spot on; fund the fight against misinformation, prejudice and hate towards the LGBTQIA+ community – I’m down with that! But then we come to the other side of this dented up, possibly forged coin… we are now funding anti-equality groups… WHAT?! MIND EXPLODES!
Just look at (and sorry to mention him again…) Trump on Charlottesville! In refusing to denounce the KKK, white supremacists et al – he emboldened them; legitimised them! David-TheMassiveRacist-Duke and the Daily Stormer wrote articles about it – how the president was showing them support because he didn’t denounce them specifically! Imagine what throwing a few million dollars at them, like in this campaign, does…
Well rather handily, we don’t have to imagine because here we have a poster literally up in the streets of Australia right now…
I can't even begin with the imagery here...
But I did go to check the “Source” supplied for this “research” and the top result was a statement from the publishers, Hindawi, denouncing it: "The article has been cited to support arguments about same-sex marriage that Hindawi believes to be hateful and wrong. These arguments do not represent the views of Hindawi, our staff, or the editorial board of Depression Research and Treatment. We strongly condemn any attempt to justify hate speech or bigotry through reference to the scholarly record.
In June 2016, several readers raised concerns about this article. At that time, we evaluated the article’s peer review process and brought several concerns to the handling editor’s attention. These included: the study’s small sample of same-sex parents, the lack of discussion of other influences such as family breakup on the wellbeing of the children included in the study, the implied causation in the title “Invisible Victims,” and the potential conflict of interest implied by the author’s position as a Catholic priest."
I’ll be honest: I didn’t read any further… because… well… it’s clearly bollocks. And it’s not as if I don’t have enough ammo for this post already… speaking of which:
Here we have an advert running on Australian TV today!
Granted, to those of us with any form of critical, analytical or evolved-within-the-past-few-millions-of-years thinking skills… this is a laughable attempt at fear-mongering… just listen to the, “Gays are gonna get ya” music in the background! My response:
- OH MY GOODNESS! NOOO! Heaven forbid a male child should be allowed to wear a dress, “if he felt like it”. IF HE FELT LIKE IT!
- That second speaker does have a point though: since marriage equality was passed in the Netherlands, 16 YEARS AGO, gayness has now become “compulsory” over there...
- “Parents have lost their right to choose” – choose what? Their child’s sexual orientation?! Good! They never had it. Maybe they’ll realise that now.
- And what does this even mean: “being asked to role play being in a same-sex relationship”?! Its ambiguity feels almost deliberate... Is that not, at worst, an exercise in compassion resulting in the students realising that love goes past our own experience and is still simultaneously as simple and mind-boggling complex and beautiful as our subjective realities? Terrible, right?
The slogan alone, “You can say no” seems to imply: “Look, we know full well that this should already be a thing; that there is no reasonable stance to take against it; that to vote no is bigoted, selfish and illogical; that there is no evidence anywhere showing marriage equality is actually harmful and to shut it down highlights you as an oppressive, privileged, ignorant ass hat trying to remove other people’s rights even when they don’t affect you at all… BUT… don’t worry… in the silence and discretion of a postal vote, we just want you to know, you can still be an absolute prick, IF YOU FEEL LIKE IT!” (Just don’t wear a dress to school, right?!).
It’s like going out to a forest with a couple of friends for the weekend and at night round the campfire, one of them saying:
“You know, whilst Jim is over there sleeping, we could kill him. Then we’d have more food for us…”
“But why would we kill Jim? He’s a great guy: he’s funny, intelligent, provides interesting conversation, got a nice family, last week he lent me his lawnmower… in fact the tent I am sleeping in tonight used to belong to him but he gave it to me, for free! And anyway, we’ve got loads of food… there really isn’t a shortage… and he’s a great cook.”
“Yeah, but Jim MIGHT be a right bastard… and we’re out in the middle of nowhere, no-one can see us. We could kill him and eat all the food ourselves!”
“But Jim isn’t a right bastard… for all the reasons I just gave you. And I don’t want to kill him. AND we don’t need ALL the food for ourselves: we’ve already got plenty of food; him eating it doesn’t even affect us…”
“Yeah… but we CAN kill him, if we FEEL like it.” (But, again, don't wear a dress to school...)
Seriously! "Who believes this crap?!" – Is a legitimate question to ask! I respond with a photo of Nigel Farrage’s smug Brexit-loving-face alongside President Donald Trump (SORRY!)…