There will be rallies for Marriage Equality around the country today at lunchtime (check this website for times and locations – in Melbourne it’s 1pm at the Town Hall).
Rallies aren’t really my thing, at all, but I can’t really stand by while fellow Australians are being discriminated against for no reason whatsoever. Not in good conscience, anyway. Other personal plans, tempting though they may be, are not enough of an excuse to just ignore what’s continuing to be done to gay people in this country by a cynically hostile government. There’s a time to stand with them, and that’s today.
The ALP and Liberal politicians have made an electoral calculation and figure, from the numbers of religious people who were prepared to click on a web-based form and demand that the law be based on arbitrarily-chosen parts of something called “Leviticus”, that there are more votes to be lost than gained by ending the discrimination.
I think they’re wrong, but we need to show them. We need to make it obvious, as if to a child, that they’re on the wrong side of history. And that there will be electoral consequences for that.
We need to show them by doing more than just sending emails; by making the effort to stand up and be counted. The more ordinary Australians at this rally, the more pressure will be placed on MPs – particularly ALP MPs – to finally do the right thing. The last one saw thousands of people around the country standing up for human rights and fairness.
We can do even better today.
We saw this week how powerful a noisy minority could be when they raise their voices – and they were a demented minority, determined to destroy their chosen political party by insisting it stubbornly pretend there’s no such thing as climate change. (The atmosphere is magically infinite and can absorb whatever we throw at it! God will save us!) In contrast, we’re the majority, and all we’re asking is that the ALP live up to its founding principles of equality and justice.
Let’s make it even more difficult for them to continue to deny gay people the rights that the rest of us enjoy.
Hope to see you there. If you’re in Melbourne, 1pm at the Town Hall. Other cities – check the website.
UPDATE: Photos here.