What is right to be done cannot be done too soon.
~ Jane Austen
I was going to write this blog, and relate it back to a letter received by residents in Perth regarding the “poisonous pill of homosexual marriage”. With the potential of a plebiscite regarding the issue, this was the first of what I am sure will be many, attempts to instill fear and hate; to encourage inequality and discrimination.
But then I realised… this was not the first. This was a long running and entrenched issue. This wasn’t the problem; this letter, albeit hateful, ignorant and disgusting, was not what people needed to be fighting against.
We live in a country where an oppressed community continue to have to fight for basic civil rights. Letters like the one that were delivered in Perth are not fighting for change; they are fighting for things to remain the same. The problem is not that letter. The problem is that even if no-one had written it, this oppression, discrimination and inequality still exists.
It is embarrassing and saddening that we, as humans, have not learned. We have issued apologies to past communities for our treatment of them; for being the oppressor; for deciding we are better, and condemning others simply because we labelled them as just that; an ‘other’. Quite frankly, I am not sure where we get off, placing ourselves on such a high pedestal, where we believe that it is right of us to dictate the rights of others.
This issue of marriage equality should not be an issue. I have noticed that those opposed to the idea often raise issues like children being brought up in same-sex households, or Safe Schools and the supposed ‘ulterior motive’ these anti-bullying programs have to ‘indoctrinate children’. I am always confused by these sorts of arguments against marriage equality; because I can’t understand how they are even remotely related. Do you really think that just because marriage equality has not been passed, that the LGBT community are not raising children? Or that Safe Schools is not already being implemented?
Marriage equality does not increase the potential for these so called ‘issues’ to be ‘issues’. But even if it did, lets consider that for a minute. The people I have spoken to opposed to marriage equality on the basis of parenting, have raised the argument that it is ‘unnatural’ and children ‘need’ a mother and a father. That for a child to have same-sex parents would result in some sort of emotional or psychological deficit because of the lack of a female or male role-model. However, a number of studies conducted in regards to the children raised by same-sex couples showed that these children fare just as well as children with heterosexual parents. In fact, it was concluded that children raised by same-sex parents did not differ from other children in terms of emotional functioning, sexual orientation, stigmatization, gender role behavior, behavioral adjustment, gender identity, learning and grade point averages. On a side note – I think it also fairly obvious that children do not grow up in silos. These ‘poor, deprived children’ with same sex parents do, in fact, see other human beings in their lifetime – both male and female (I know, what a novel concept).
I also cannot understand this fear of anti-bullying programs in schools. Yes, they encourage a more inclusive use of language. Yes, they promote acceptance, despite differences. I would hope that most adults would believe these to be desirable traits when moulding their children into functioning members of society.
No, these programs do not want to ‘make your child gay’; not that I even think it would be possible to do so, even if that was the aim.
It even sounds ridiculous – ‘make my child gay’ by ‘exposing them’ to inclusiveness and acceptance. Do you actually hear yourself? Why would anyone want to do that? Particularly a community of people who have faced that kind of treatment and discrimination themselves. Need I remind you, that it is actually the heterosexual community who have historically, and do still currently, send their adolescent children off to camps to have their homosexuality ‘fixed’, or disown their children for coming out, or not accept members of the LGBT community into their churches or schools or… heaven forbid… bakeries.
Alas… we have trundled off topic – because that is how this works. There is no reason to inhibit the happiness of two people; so to ensure we don’t notice the ridiculousness of our own behaviour, we recieve a barage of unrelated and unfounded reasons why we should all marinate in our own hate.
I would love someone opposed to marriage equality to tell me how allowing two people who love each other, to marry, would in any way affect their lives in a negative way. Not how you think it might affect the children, or the schools, or… alas… the bakeries… but you – personally – how does it affect you??
The reality is… opposing marriage equality helps no-one. Who are you asssiting by denying another their happiness? And how on earth do you consider yourself worthy of holding that kind of power? I have no words.