Marriage Equality letters

I’ve actually been ill today, so I didn’t manage to write as many letters as I meant to.  I’m hoping to do a bit of blitz of Senators tomorrow, but I have covered some of the main suspects at least.  I understand that the Plebiscite is being debated in Parliament this week, possibly even this evening, so I went with emails rather than postal letters this time.

As usual, having written the letters, I find them entirely inadequate, but I’m posting them here for two reasons.  Well, one reason, with two parts.  The reason is, of course, that I’m hoping some of you will also feel inclined to write to your politicians, and sometimes it’s hard to know where to start.  Feel free to use these as a starting point – it’s easier to fix a bad letter than to write one from scratch, in my experience.

It’s also sometimes hard to decide that a letter is good enough to send, and that’s the other reason I’m posting these.  I want to write the perfect letter, which will cause politicians to realise, at last, that they have made a terrible mistake and should be doing things differently (ie, my way…).  In the real world, that’s not going to happen.  Or at least, not through me – I am definitely not that eloquent.  But at least part of this is a numbers game.  A letter that does not perfectly express what you want to say is still a letter in someone’s inbox, reminding them that another one of their constituents opposes the plebiscite.  And you never know – your letter of support to a politician who is doing the write thing may be the encouragement they need, or may provide them with an argument or phrase that they hadn’t thought of and can use to sway others.  But even if it doesn’t, every little bit helps.

You can find contact lists for all Senators and MPs at this link.  These include phone numbers, postal and email addresses, so pick the medium of your choice and go for it.

If letters are too hard write now, the ALP has a campagin ‘It’s Time for Marriage Equality‘, which is half petition, half tweet, and certainly worth a look.  The Greens have a similar campaign.  And Australian Marriage Equality have all sorts of actions you can take, depending on your time, energy and financial resources.

And if you just need a break from all of this, here’s a link I found earlier when I was looking (unsuccessfully) for some information about my local Member.  It’s the 404 page for The Australian‘s National Affairs section, and it is absolutely hilarious.  Enjoy!

Letters below the cut…

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Equality and Marriage

I’ve never been told that there is something wrong with me because I love my husband.  When we got engaged, everyone was excited for us.

I’ve never had to pretend to colleagues that my husband was just my flatmate.  I have his photo as my screensaver.

I’ve never had to think about whether it’s safe to hold my husband’s hand in public. Sometimes, we even skip down the path near our house. It’s obnoxiously cute.

I’ve never had researchers study people like me in order to be sure that we aren’t somehow harming our children.  Though I do get asked pretty often if we are going to have kids soon.

I’ve never had to be afraid that if I were sick, my husband would not be allowed to visit me in hospital. He can even pick up prescriptions for me.

I’ve never had to worry that if I died, my family might contest my will and my husband could be left with nothing.  Even if I don’t write my will, the government knows he is my next of kin.

I’ve never been madly in love and simultaneously desperate to tell my friends about my new relationship – and terrified that if I do, they will no longer be my friends.  Even though my taste in men has been questionable at times.

I’ve never had people ask me personal questions about exactly what I do with my husband and how it ‘works’.  Most people over the age of five know that this is intrusive, and also none of their business.

I’ve never had anyone tell me that they can ‘cure’ my love for my husband.

I’ve never had an elected politician tell me that wanting to marry my husband is the same as wanting to have sex with a dog.

I’ve never been told that I need to repent of loving my husband, or that God hates me, or that bushfires are God’s punishment for tolerating people like me.

I’ve never had to ask the entire population of Australia if I could get married to the person I loved.

I’ve never been told that if I am depressed and anxious about all this, it’s because I’m disordered, rather than because it is utterly stressful and dehumanising to be treated this way.

*****

The Marriage Equality plebiscite is expensive. It’s cruel and degrading.  It’s going to hurt LGBTQI people and their families.  And it’s not even binding, which means that in addition to being unkind and costly, it is also pointless.

It’s also un-Christian – we are called to love one another, not judge those who simply want to have their loving, consensual relationships recognised by the state.

Marriage equality is not a threat to my marriage.  It’s not a threat to my religion.  It’s not going to harm children.

It’s just going to make life a little bit safer, a little bit easier, a little bit happier for the 5% (give or take) of Australians who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, transgender, genderqueer, or intersex.

Which is what equality is about.

I’ve baked a lot of wedding cakes for my straight friends over the last ten years.  I hope that in the next ten, I’ll get to bake just as many wedding cakes for my gay friends.  I’d rather be baking for my friends than writing letters to politicians on their behalf.

But the time for baking isn’t here yet.  No, right now we are decidedly in the season of letter writing.  The Greens have promised to block the plebiscite (and all idealism aside, they have nothing to lose by doing so); Labor have said they will do so, but are a bit more vulnerable to polls.  And the Liberal party has its supporters of Marriage Equality too.  I’ll try to draft some letters in the next day or so and put them here, in case anyone wants to borrow them.  If you’ve already written, and want to share what you wrote, please feel free to do so in the comments – I think a lot of people find it easier to get started when they can see what arguments other people have made.

May we reach the baking season soon!