A heartfelt song to my homeland, recorded last night on my iPhone. With love. [With apologies to that fabulous, much-missed genius, Peter Allen. And thanks to Jeremy Ervine .]
It's complex, yes, But here's a start: Swap gods and guns For books and art.
Morning Aussies. I have a question about this Equal Marriage Survey: Is there anyone out there who has close gay friends or family members that is voting "no"? (Other than Tony Abbott, obvs). I believe the only reason you could possibly think LGBTQI people don't deserve everything straight folk deserve is that you don't know any! In fact, whenever I hear an argument against Marriage Equality, I picture the person arguing their point in front of one of my gay friends. I imagine a dude saying to my gorgeous (handsome, rich, loving) mates who have kids, "I think you two having children is a form of abuse." I picture a lady standing at stage door after Matilda, & saying to one of our actors,"Your performance made me cry, but you shouldn't be allowed to marry your partner of 20 years." I just don't think they would do it. They wouldn't. Surely therefore an intellectually honest and humble on-the-fence voter would say to themselves, "Well, if everyone who knows some gay people thinks they should be allowed to be married, then logically I suppose *I* would also support Equal Marriage if I had gay friends." ... and act accordingly! Anyway. Man. I find this shit really, really upsetting. OK. Big breath. Look, if you're a potential "no" voter and are still reading, thank you. Honestly. And can I ask you to stay with me for one more minute. You know that whatever happens with Equal Marriage law, the vaguely related debates about sex education, religious privilege, parenting, "political correctness" and what have you will rage on. This won't stop social progress. Conventions change. We constantly update our understanding of what is moral. We have many times updated our definition of marriage! We tweak. We improve. We try to take into account the wellbeing of the less powerful. Of minorities. And so on. And sure, perhaps it's moving too fast for you. I get it. I do. I have loved ones who find it all just too much. But I beg you to accept the facts: There are probably a couple of million LGBTQI Aussies. There are hundreds of thousands of gay couples. And thousands of family with same-sex parents! THEY EXIST whether you are ready for it or not. So please ask yourself only one question: Do I want to play a part in making those people feel more accepted? Or do I want to hurt them more? Because whatever our beliefs, and whether it is our intention or not, that will be the effect of this survey. It WILL send a message to LGBTQI people. And that message will say one of two things: That the country sees them as equal. Or that we officially see them as lesser. The survey has already done terrible damage by unleashing the more bigoted anti-gay voices. Let's end it now. Please. Please? Please.
Voting guide for the UK: 1. Note what the Daily Mail suggests. 2. Do the opposite. Actually, probably not a bad rule for life in general.