Today something ugly happened.
I wasn’t there, but I heard about it. In a way I am glad I wasn’t there and didn’t have to go through it. In another way I’m sad I didn’t get the chance to yell and scream.
For me, the pain and fury started with a text message from my husband. He’d taken the kids to his parents’ house, leaving me home for a lazy day in my PJs. The text message said:
I was pruning for Dad out the front and an old man and lady handed me a pamphlet. I thought it was to do with the election so I didn’t read it but [hubby’s brother] did and it was anti same sex marriage. He ran off after them to have a talk…
The rest of the text was about the old people’s reaction to my brother-in-law confronting them about scaremongering. From the report it appeared that they were ill-prepared for someone to argue with them and didn’t know what to say.
My response: Damn. I want to get in the car and come over to yell at them.
I was angry. DAMN angry. This is what the stupid Australian Government has now created. Groups of people who find it necessary to roam the streets and hand out literature on what is basically a hate campaign.
For those people who are unaware of Australian politics and our fight for marriage equality, I will try and make it simple. Polls show that the majority of the Australian people want marriage equality. But the politicians are refusing to change the laws or bring about a change that would be a step towards it. Each time it is introduced into Parliament, the opposition knocks it back. We are at the stage where our two leading political parties – Liberal and Labor – don’t have the numbers to support any of the changes they wish to bring forward, and in a petty war, they are simply knocking back every bill introduced by the opposite party.
In a move that perhaps was made in the heat of the moment, and I think has been very much regretted, the Government promised the public a plebiscite, which is simply a yes/no vote from the public (at great cost to the taxpayer). However, in a move that has angered most Australians, a bunch of nitwit politicians have promised that even if the plebiscite votes for marriage equality, they would still vote it down due to their conscience.
We (the public) have been promised to have a say… but not for another two years? And the latest talks from the politicians have shown that they are looking at ways to circumvent their promise – how to either word the plebiscite unfavourably and to make the decision non-binding.
But we don’t want a plebiscite in two years. What will that prove? Two years of people against same-sex marriage having a free reign to bash (verbally and physically) LGBT people? Two years of arguments and hatred, just for the politicians to find a way to make it go away despite the way the vote is? The current push from pro-marriage-equality camps is to drop the plebiscite, and make the politicians due to the job they were elected to do. You know that job? That one where they’re supposed to represent the people?
I asked my husband to bring the pamphlet home. It has been put out by the Marriage Alliance. (Printed by Vivid Print of Fyshwick ACT – so anyone who was thinking of using that business, I would suggest you don’t.) The message on the flyer is that those pushing for same-sex marriage have a deeper agenda. They put forth these four newspaper headlines to prove their point. Remember – these are just news headlines from various media outlets. And darned if I know how it relates to marriage equality.
“Activists push taxpayer-funded gay manual in schools” with the first paragraph shown to read “Eleven-year-old children are being taught about sexual orientation and transgender issues at school in a taxpayer-funded program written by gay activists.”
My first thought: Oh, good. They are teaching the kids about the ISSUES of homophobia and transphobia. They are teaching the kids that someone may be different from them and that’s okay. And Marriage Alliance wants to shut this down? Are they really people who think that teaching children about the “issues” surrounding LGBT people is teaching them to be gay?
I don’t know about you guys, but my first sex education at school was taught when I was in Year 4. That’s eight- and nine-year-olds watching Where did I come from? on a TV and being told that a man puts his penis inside a woman’s vagina and rubs. This is acceptable to them, but being told that “some girls love girls” is not?
So they don’t wish to teach kids about bullying. And they don’t wish to teach kids that it’s not acceptable to point and call out “Faggot!” because they think that the teachers will go around encouraging children under the age of consent to … I don’t even know what!
Let’s move on to the next headline they use to back up their “gay agenda” scaremongering.
“Safe Schools: tell concerned parents ‘tough luck!’”
For those who don’t know Safe Schools is an anti-bullying program that teaches kids about those who are different from them. It focuses on homosexuality and transgender as well as other issues that cause bullying such as race, religion and socio-economic background. Some parents expressed dismay at this.
My thoughts are that if parents did their “job” at home and taught this stuff from birth, then the schools wouldn’t need to “step in” and make sure their “darling children” (ie rampant bullies) know what acceptable behaviour is.
So if it is the “hidden agenda” of same-sex marriage activists to stop kids being bigots, then yes, I would say that is something I support.
“New gender non-specific birth certificates for the ACT” with the first paragraph shown as “The terms ‘mother’ and ‘father’ will effectively become interchangeable under new laws…”
Oh, wow. Now this IS a scary thing, isn’t it? A child having TWO parents? So, in their opinion two parents in the scariest thing that can happen to a child?
“Same-sex lobby threatens Catholic archbishop over Christian booklet”
Oh, yes. Now this is the biggest gay agenda. All those people out there supposedly supporting same-sex marriage, and in fact, all they really wanted was our country’s anti-discrimination laws applied. All of these people wearing rainbow clothing, and vowing to support marriage equality, are really just being underhand and don’t want the Catholic Church handing out a booklet to school children that says some pretty discriminatory things about a certain section of society.
How dare they!
After handing this pamphlet to my husband and being raked over the coals by my brother-in-law for denying people their equal rights, apparently a group of them gathered on my in-laws’ front lawn.
Text from hubby: There is around 10 of them out the front now. All 70 old +.
Me: You should yell at them, “Stop worrying about what other people do in their bedrooms. What makes you so interested in that?”
Him: I said that its on the same level as being racist.
Me: Yep! Shall I come and argue????
Him: They just kept saying, “Oh you’re wrong” “is not”
So, basically, in the end they had no idea what they were campaigning for? They were scaremongering because they had been scaremongered themselves.
Hubby was livid. He raged at them (which, if you know my hubby, is something out of the ordinary) and sent them a long letter tonight. To him, he isn’t so much an ally of LGBT, but he doesn’t want people getting in his face about stuff that is none of his business. His take on marriage equality is that what people do, who they love, who they marry is no business of his. It’s their choice. And no one should be stopping them. But mostly no one should be making him read rubbish pamphlets.
Me? I’m not going to idly sit by and watch my friends be told they’re wrong, flawed, sinners and unequal. I will get in faces. Anti-same-sex-marriage campaigners better hope they can take it as much as they dish.
It was an ugly day for me. But it’s one that I know will only get worse. And I hope to hell the politicians do something about it – and soon. It may involve pulling on their big-girl panties and acting like adults paid to do a job. It may be tough for them. But they should concede it is 100 times tougher for those without marriage equality and who have to put up with this hatred.
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