Leading up to the result of the Australian Marriage Equality vote I was so very apprehensive.
This debate has been ugly. And it has been a tough and scarring free for all at times. Sure it’s easy to say ‘both sides’ behaved badly, but that is way too simplistic.
Personally I feel this never should have been a plebiscite. For the very reasons we witnessed through the campaign.
There were elements of pure fabrication and homophobia on display in almost every ‘no’ pamphlet, TV ad, radio spot or newspaper ad.
Disgusting comparisons of LGBTI equality and paedophilia or objectfilia (marrying a bridge? Get real).
The concern and angst was building while I was imagining what the outcomes were.
Previous polls showed support holding firm but with a late surge in older voters, would that swing the vote?
Outcomes i picutred raced through my mind trying to untangle the weeks ahead… A thin yes victory, or a small defeat. A large victory/defeat… what about different outcomes in different states/territories?
How would these all different outcomes play put over the coming months and years…
Then i started thinking back to the first EU trip to Amsterdam – seeing the first gay marriage ceremony as part of the pride festival, as the boat went down the canal leading the floats/parade. And I was almost crying before the result…
But the outcome was a clear and decisive – 61.6% across all states and territories.
Over 80% yes vote in Melbourne…
In Townsville – where I went to high school but also deemed one of the most homophobic cities in Australia back in the late 1990s – voted over 62% in support. (Herbert district).
Even Kennedy, Bob Katters seat, where he infamously announced that there were no gays in his district, voted no but only by a slim 3% majority… and you can’t get much more rural/outback!
I am feeling so many emotions/feelings at the moment:
- Anger at having to go through this stupid plebiscite.
- Frustration that the no vote are now pressing for more religious protections, so even business can refuse gay marriage services.
- Vindicated that the majority said yes and amazed at the broad scope of the yes vote.
- Relief that even with all the money and media – the no vote didn’t manage to get across the line.
- Anxious that the next few weeks and months will see even more news and opinions re gay marriage, as parliament debate the form of the legislation.
- Curious of which politicians will go against their constituents to still try and deny marriage equality.
- Pissed off, there is still further to go to just get across the line and be legally recognised.
- and finally yearning to see Australia and most importantly the LGBTI communtiy heal…
It has been such a bittersweet occasion.
But for now, it’s time to breath in and saviour this hard fought step towards marriage equality.