I want to make it clear who I am writing to and who I am not. This is not for those who equate same-sex marriage to bestiality or child marriage. It's also not for people who consciously believe LGBTQ people don't deserve as much as every other person.
But, maybe you find comfort in traditional ideas in an ever-changing world where just as soon as you've grasped a new concept, that concept is already outdated. Maybe you have concerns about religious freedom or children of same-gender couples so you're still a little cautious about voting yes in the plebiscite. If this is you, then hi! Please stay.
I promise I am not going to call you a homophobe or a bigot. It's not helpful to real conversation. Arguments based on name calling and comebacks only cement our views more deeply, and generally we don't even read each others' points anyway. I'm also not going to quote statistics at you because you are a capable person who can find them for yourself.
I am just going to try to let you understand how important marriage equality is, because honestly, it is so much more than just being able to marry someone of the same gender.
At its core, legalising same-gender marriage validates LGBTQ Australians and tells them that they are valued and important members of society -- equal to everyone else.
If you're in a same-gender relationship and your partner gets sick, you might be refused visitation rights in the hospital, even if they're dying.
If you're in a same-gender relationship and your partner is on life support, you might be refused consent rights in the hospital, even though it's illegal to do so.
If you're in a same-gender relationship and your partner of 30 years is taken off life support, on their death certificate it might say 'Never Married'.
This is not a potential situation. This is something that happens and it is real. This is about so much more than 'political correctness'.
The legalisation of same-gender marriage means married trans people will no longer have to decide whether to divorce their partner or be recognised by the government and their community.
There are so many little ways that not being able to marry your partner affect the every-day lives of LGBTQ people. At its core, legalising same-gender marriage validates LGBTQ Australians and tells them that they are valued and important members of society -- equal to everyone else.
It will make every other fight for LGBTQ rights so much easier, because there are areas to fight for. The gay panic defense was only abolished in Queensland this year!
Suicide is a huge problem among Australia's young people, and an even bigger problem among Australia's LGBTQ young people. LGBTQ young people are five times more likely to die by suicide according to the National LGBTI Health Alliance. That's not because they are LGBTQ but because of how they are treated in our society.
Wouldn't you vote 'yes' if it meant saving lives of real people? What I'm trying to say is that your vote has real power.
I am tired of the rage and frustration that comes along with advocating for LGBTQ rights. When you strip that away from the LGBTQ community, you can actually hear what is underneath. It is desperation from a community that has so much at stake.
I would really encourage you to look beyond the 'SJW' and 'political correctness' rhetoric and take a moment to consider the individuals who your vote will impact because
This is about so much more than marriage equality.