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Don't Vote NO Because Of What Might Happen If The YES Vote Passes

If we were actually asking for some of the things that the NO campaign is promising would happen, I’d be voting NO right alongside you.

18/09/2017 10:24 AM AEST | Updated 18/09/2017 12:35 PM AEST
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"We're being asked one thing and one thing only: 'Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?'"

So you're voting NO.

You've seen the ads, you've heard the talkback radio, you've read the Facebook posts, and you're not going to change your mind.

No way. It's your right to vote NO. It's okay to say NO.

Can I ask, how would you feel if the situation was reversed?

How would you feel if you and the person that you are attracted to through your particular mix of biology were asking to be treated equally, and to be wholly accepted by society?

What would you feel like if the kind of relationship you are in -- where you and the person that you hold at night when you are scared, the one who looks to you for joy and support -- was being torn to shreds in the public discourse every day?

Please, trust in the democratic process. And if "they" come for your religious freedom, your freedom of speech, or try to put a co-ed toilet in a shopping centre -- I'll be writing another piece and loudly campaigning right next to you.

Imagine how you would feel if the human being that you like to have intimate physical moments with that have nothing to do with anyone outside of your bedroom was asking the rest of Australia to be accepted as an equal?

What would it make you feel if those who opposed your simple request to be treated like an equal human were relying on triggering anger and fear responses in their supporters, welding their minds closed to any change of heart?

How would you like to be told that your relationship would bring around the downfall of their relationship, and all like theirs?

How would you feel if people in politics, people of high media profiles, people with loud public voices, constantly told you to be quiet and be happy with what you have?

How would it make you feel if perfect strangers, people you'll never meet, have the chance to do you an incredible kindness -- but they are refusing to because of a religious belief that has nothing to do with you?

How would you feel if you had a child who, through the luck of birth, was in a minority which made them five times more likely to attempt suicide than their peers?

These attempts having been proven not to be a result of their sexuality -- but instead are a direct result of stigma and discrimination, a stigma and discrimination that you're asking the rest of Australia to start to dismantle?

Getty Images
"We're being asked one thing and one thing only: 'Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?'"

Australia has always changed laws to reflect changes in society's values.

Less than 100 years ago, we changed the law so that women could vote. Just over 50 years ago, we changed the law so that Aboriginal people could vote. It's astonishing to consider these things now, but that's what our laws were.

There was incredible opposition to both of these changes, and both changes had opponents who promised that the sky would fall in if these laws passed and that they were a Trojan horse for all kinds of other agendas.

Neither of those things happened -- in fact the only thing that did happen was that it made our great country stronger and more resilient.

If you're a person of religious faith, there is nothing wrong with adhering to the teachings of that faith in your own home. For many, a life of faith and devotion is a path to great happiness. However, would you like someone of another faith enshrining in law that you were a lesser human than them in our society?

Of course not. Many faiths have kindness and compassion as core tenets of their teachings. Here is your chance to show immense kindness and compassion to people who live among you, in your immediate community.

Please, consider the reasons you're voting NO. Do any of them have anything to do with the question being asked? Or do they have more to do with "what might happen" if the YES vote passes?

If we were actually asking for some of the things that the NO campaign is promising would happen, I'd be voting NO right alongside you.

But we're not. We're being asked one thing and one thing only: 'Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?'

That's it. We're not being asked about freedom of speech, freedom of religion, gender theory, or co-ed toilets.

Please, trust in the democratic process. And if "they" come for your religious freedom, your freedom of speech, or try to put a co-ed toilet in a shopping centre -- I'll be writing another piece and loudly campaigning right next to you.

We have a chance as a nation to make life a whole lot more wonderful for many people in our community. Our family, our friends, our colleagues, our sports stars. I promise you; kindness feels a lot better than fear of change. Please, try to imagine what life would be like if the tables were turned, and vote with the kindness and love in your heart that you'd want for yourself.

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