The Moment Australia Voted For My Love

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Following the success of love and Australia voting Yes to marriage equality, we take a moment to reflect on some of the impacts of the campaign and how we all felt. Kath is a nurse who tells her story and experience of the last few months:

It’s so very hard to find the right words to capture the emotions I felt at the moment the results of the Australian Same Sex Marriage Postal Survey were announced. Like so many people in the LGBTI community, I had no way of avoiding the vile campaign of the ‘No’ camp. Hate and bigotry was openly broadcast through every form of media; lies and misconceptions were given quasi-validity via a rhetoric marked as ‘free speech’.  There was literally no escape from the constant bombardment of cruel and hurtful lies.  I wasn’t alone; so many of my friends shared their stories of personal pain. We were united in just how much strength of character it took to remain civilised when forced to listen to very personal attacks. My entire life was publically debated and labelled deficient by people I have never met and who have no knowledge of my moral code or personal values.

Most painful of all, the depth of love I feel for my beautiful partner was touted as inferior to the love experienced by a heterosexual couple. In an entirely bizarre twist, the ‘No’ campaign decided that marriage should be synonymous with the ability or desire to reproduce.  I can’t personally speak with all heterosexual couples of non-child baring age or those undergoing IVF treatment, or couples who just choose to not have children; however I think I’d be correct to say that they have no deficiencies on the love front.

At times it felt like the campaign would never end. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse another painful reminder of the hate some people feel towards same-sex couples would pop up.  The donation of 1 million dollars (thirty pieces of silver has experienced some inflation) to the ‘No’ campaign by the Sydney Anglican Diocese was probably the lowest point in the campaign for me. The active role the Sydney Anglicans have no doubt played in damaging the mental health of vulnerable LGBTI kids is inhuman, a sanctimonious betrayal of their purported moral compass.  As for the LGBTI kids in their own congregations, they are by far at most risk due to their isolation. The real cost of this horrible survey may never be fully known.

As I stood with my tribe in Prince Alfred Park in Sydney I reflected on all this. I could not have been more proud. We have heard it all, we have suffered greatly and for the most part, we have carried ourselves with grace and dignity.  We have learned who our allies are and who are not.  We have also been given an opportunity; we now know that the real enemy is ignorance. When we openly live our authentic LGBTI lives we gift our families and our wider communities the opportunity to truly know us. When the announcement came that 7 million Australian’s were willing to vote for love; I cheered, I cried, I cheered some more. Then I sent a message to the one lady in that 7 million who this was all for. The message was simple – I love you.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Wow. I’m so moved by this story. How bloody beautiful. You captured every single feeling I felt and put it into words. Thank you. I get all choked up when I think to when I set my alarm to 0855 (Qld time), tuned my computer to ABC News Live, and desperately hurried the ABS guy (who had a wry smile which I thought was a bit of a give away) to dispense with the formalties and then he said it, “7 million, … YES” … I hope I never forget that feeling.

  2. Well .. what about the lies and distortion from the ‘yes’ campaign? and the million dollars they was given to the said campaign by the CEO of Qantas. We are all people first and the author of this article seems to have put her sexuality as paramount in her life. Hardly objective.

    • The CEO paid the $1million from HIS OWN POCKET. That was his personal decision and choice to vote YES. It was not from the Qantas shareholders’ dividends. There were no lies in the YES campaign: equality for all, that’s all it was about.

  3. Monica if you knew the author as I do, you would know that her sexuality is only one facet of her life, and that she is a wonderful, caring, compassionate person. If you take your bigot blinkers off you would see that the YES campaign did not lie, it kept to the facts, the point, and was objective.

    • Nick,
      I hope you’ve read my comment above to Monica. I voted YES, for myself, my friends, my family and my colleagues and for the people who have suicided, and who continue to suffer psychological damage just because of their sexuality. Above all else, I want love to prevail.

  4. Monica – nurses advocate for their patients all the time. Why can’t this nurse advocate for love for herself and her partner? Is love only for heterosexuals? Times are a changin’ and you better accept it!

  5. As the writer of this article, just wanted to say thanks for all the comments. Yes, even Monica. You have given me the gift of re-appreciating irony. Think about it.

    Our ability to feel and express love and care for people is one of the beautiful aspects of our precious and fragile existence; a wonderful part of the rich tapestry that makes us human. I’ve been privileged to witness the close of many lives, the last shuddering breath that gives us a glimpse of mortality. When that time comes, we all know that the exchange and expression of love is both precious and beautiful. So yes, damn right my sexuality is paramount in my life. My years of nursing has only confirmed that this is true about every life.

    The rhetoric and hysteria of the ‘Vote No’ campaign is over. The end result is equality for all Australians under law. It’s taken 45 years for me to have equality under law in the country I was born. Some didn’t make it – I humbly stand on their shoulders and I use my voice where their’s have fallen silent.

    I woke up today to a society where marriage is no longer about genitals, it is about two people’s love and commitment. I’d say that’s about as objective as it gets.

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