OPINION: HERE IS WHY THE SAME-SEX MARRIAGE VOTE IS IMPORTANT

I’m not usually one to force my personal views and beliefs down a person’s throat, however when it comes to the conversation of same-sex marriage I am not going to shy away. Recently, conversations regarding the same-sex marriage plebiscite has arose again in the media, and now debate has sparked over making the ‘issue’ a consensus vote instead. I’m at the point of my young adult life where I have disassociated from the continual conversations about LGBT rights, because more than not we, as a community, are being denied these basic human rights. However, I feel now more than ever is a crucial point for the Australian LGBT community, and if the Australia Government again denies a mass of their citizens these rights, the result may be vital.

I was reading through a forum discussion regarding the plebiscite/consensus vote, where citizens were giving their views on what should be done to handle this conversation. Again, usually I steer clear of these forums because some of the comments made are completely hurtful and unjust, but this time I decided to delve in. I’m not going to bore you with all of the comments made, but to highlight just a few for you: one individual compared the importance of same-sex to electricity prices, another accused the LGBT community of being burdens to society and another went so far to say society would function better if LGBT individuals were not a part of it. Thank fuck I am a strong person who knows that I need to disregard these comments, because my worth as a human being is just as important as the people making these idiotic comments. But, for some people in the LGBT community reading these comments, they do not know their worth. They take these comments wholeheartedly and let it dictate their life.

I can acknowledge that some of you may oppose this idea of same-sex marriage due to religious purposes, but doesn’t God want all of us to be happy? Alternatively, some of you argue that it will be too expensive for the government, yet allowing more individuals to marry will only bring more money into the economy – therefore, helping the entirety of Australia. If it isn’t either of these, realistically, you are under the impression that two men, or two women, sharing a loving relationship together is disgusting. Why is that though? What is it about two individuals of the same gender committing to a life-long of love and happiness that repulses you to this extent? For years I have been trying to figure out why me falling in love with a dude is repulsive, yet you falling in love with your girlfriend/boyfriend is not? I am not going out telling my LGBT friends to boycott your love, so why are you doing it to me?

Right now in Australia, internationally as well, youth suicide in the LGBT community is on the rise. Every day, people within this community are taking their lives because they don’t feel like they should be here – and this stems from the actions being taken by the Government that they look to. Lack of marriage rights, lack or adoption rights, it all adds up and takes its toll on a homosexual individual. Through all of this, you are not doing the right thing and helping our country, you are telling an extremely large group of individuals that they are not important, that their love is not important, and essentially that they are not equal to their co-workers, school friends or family. You are perpetuating the belief that because of their sexuality, they are not equal in this world.

This is something I personally have been dealing with for the past couple of years – the idea that I am not equal to my friends, or my family. I cannot describe how it feels when you wake up and see a mass shooting in a gay club, because an unstable individual wanted LGBT people gone. Seeing insensitive, disgusting comments on posts regarding homosexual life. Growing up as a kid, and being called a ‘faggot’ or ‘queer’ by the other boys in your grade. Or, simply, turning on the TV and seeing your Government continually deny your rights as a human. I’ve dealt with this, and I will continue to deal with this for the rest of my life, as I’m sure many of my LGBT friends will also. As sucky as it sounds, I’ve come to terms with that fact that I may never be able to marry someone I love in my home country. No 20-year-old should ever say that, but, that is the reality of the situation we are in.

For those of you who have read this, squinting their eyes at my thoughts and laughing at what I’ve said, just remember a few things. You have not grown up questioning whether you’ll be able to marry, because it’s an assumed way of life for you. You have never had to worry about walking down the street holding the hand of the person you love, in fear someone will start verbally/physically attacking you. You have never had to stress about whether you’ll be able to experience parenthood. I do though, my friends do.

I’ve sort of rambled through this, but what I’m getting at is that the Australian Government needs to allow a consensus vote on this issue. This is not something that is a privilege, it is a basic human right that cannot be continually repressed. People are suffering because of this, some individuals are taking their lives – this is not something that can continue happening. We need inclusion for all Australian’s, and this action will allow the LGBT community to feel as though they are humans, not burdens. Doing this will save lives, and is that not the most important part of humanity – maximising happiness for the masses?

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