Actor Harry Cook won the love lottery, it’s just a shame that he doesn’t have the same rights as other people…
I recently announced that my partner and I of nearly five years plan on getting married here in Los Angeles before the year is out. This is a decision we made two years ago, but we held out hope and expectation that Australia would’ve caught up to the rest of the Western World and allowed marriage equality by the time we were ready.
Unfortunately, that is yet to be the case.
Perhaps, in some alternate universe, someone who was once against the idea of marriage equality will realise just how normal us “gay folk” are and how utterly stupid their ignorant selves have been all these years. Well, here’s hoping.
Now, I could go on a big rant here about how unjust and ridiculous it is that a country like Australia is still digging its heels in the sand on this issue, but instead I’m just going to talk about my relationship.
I met Liam at a coffee store on Sydney’s Northern Beaches when he actually asked me if I was “that guy from that movie with Geena Davis?”. Flattered, I said yes, and we spent the next four hours drinking coffee outside, smoking and getting to know each other.
We dated for months and at the time, Liam hadn’t come out to his family or friends. I let it be and said that whenever he was ready I’d be there for him. Eventually, he plucked up the courage and did it, and he had the wonderful response that any young LGBT person hopes for:
Complete acceptance and unconditional love.
Soon after, I met Liam’s entire clan and fell in love with them just as much as I had fallen for him. I knew what we had was special from the get-go. I knew that something like this didn’t come along often; the fact that not only did I love him to bits, but he is also my best friend.
I had it all.
I wanted anything to be able to do what normal couples could: tie the knot. I wanted to stand in front of my family and friends and announce proudly that I had found the one I wanted to spend my life with.
Sadly, we don’t get that luxury in our hometown.
I was never a political person growing up, and, for the most part didn’t pay much attention to the whole “circus” that follows it. That was until I realised that a group of caucasian, heterosexual, old, men were making decisions on behalf of me, of things they had absolutely no understanding.
Marriage equality has taken over in recent history and has even been dubbed the “new civil rights movement.” Every nation where English is the primary language has marriage equality on the books. Everywhere, except Australia. My country. My country, which has a history of blatant, criminal discrimination against its indigenous people, still somehow managed to find a different target to throw stones at and make outsiders.
To be perfectly honest, I’m tired of having to spell this out for people. We are human beings. We deserve the exact same rights as everyone else. Why are we fighting so hard against a Government who clearly has no intention of listening to the people?
72 percent of Australians are in favour of marriage equality.
Why has nothing changed?
If you genuinely are of the opinion that gay couples are “icky” and don’t deserve the right to marry, I’m here to tell you that you are on the wrong side of history. You’re not the “good guys” defending your God’s word or the Bible’s teachings. You’re a bigot.
Plain and simple.
So, while my fiancé and I get ready to tie the knot here in Los Angeles, I’m more than happy to tell the Australian Government back home how ashamed I am of the ignorant, hillbilly bunch running the country over there. This is not just for my soon-to-be husband and I.
Our union is defending the rights of the millions of LGBTQ youth in Australia who are under the impression from the current government that they are less than, and not as important as, their heterosexual peers.
Marriage equality in Australia isn’t about a fancy ceremony, a beautiful wedding cake and a huge party, it’s about the message that we are all equal.
That song that Australia wheels out when nationalist pride is called for, extolling our shared virtue as “we are one, but we are many” seems to be the sole possession of heterosexual Australians. Because as a gay man, I don’t feel “one” with Australia whatsoever.
It’s time to move out of the Stone Age and be on the right side of history.