I’m a very resilient man.
Really, I am.
At the moment, I’m in Hamilton, town of my birth. I’m here because my mother is dying. I’m in the hospital looking down at this once great woman, who has been married to my Dad for over 60 years. He’s here too. Looking at his wife with a great unsaid sadness.
I don’t know how long this will go on. I have no idea.
It’s very depressing.
On Saturday, while trying to deal with the overwhelming sense of loss there is another issue going on in the background. Michael and I are listening and watching the reaction to the Labor Party conference and their decision to change their party platform.
Now, it seems, the Labor Party agree that my equality is worthy of attention. They changed their party platform to allow marriage equality. There’s a but. But, they won’t force their parliamentarians to vote for the change.
During the debate at the conference, members of the Labor Party got up and said some of the most disgusting homophobic things I’ve heard come out of the mouths of people on the left of politics.
Outside the party, some rabid bloggers have geared up to further add to the groundswell of homophobia and hate. The Australian Christian Lobby is falling over itself to denounce the move.
The Labor Party deciding to make this a conscience vote is truly insulting. So many of their polices don’t get to be made on conscience. Think of our fight on terrorism. Think of the sale of uranium to India, think of the carbon tax. Think of their support of the 2004 change to the Marriage Act that inserted the clause that ‘marriage is defined as between one man and one woman’ no conscience vote there. Yet my right to marry the person of my choice has to be debated.
I’m tired of this. The party lets ignorant homophobes use their party platform to spout intolerance. This really does make me feel like a second class citizen.
I’m not treated equally, because I’m gay.
Yep, this is a significant change, it’s a step forward. At last there seems to be a shift happening.
We’re not there, it wears my resilience down to hear again how my sexuality will destroy society, how my parenting is second rate, how I’m not worthy of full equality. How I have to be happy that about 80 bits of legislation has been changed and I should be grateful.
I’m aware of how insidious homophobia is. This sort of rhetoric from the religious right gains the media’s attention, and the homophobes continue to get tacit permission to inflict their hate on others.
Gillard and those who oppose full equality want to be seen as accepting of gay people, but their actions don’t match their words. They give approval to the far christian right to continue with their lies and they don’t challenge the misinformation that is being trotted out.
The rights of the citizens of this country is not something that should be debated. My rights should not be up for discussion. I’m not christian, I don’t accept that christianity should have any bearing on my life. Yes, people have a right to believe what they like, as deluded as I think that might be. I don’t get why those beliefs have to impact and influence a secular state and government.
As I watch my Dad bend and kiss his wife of 62 years and whisper something into her ear that is shared between the two of them, I see a commitment in marriage. He is not questioned as to what he’s saying, his actions are not scrutinised. My mothers sister isn’t screaming for him to get away from her, her children aren’t discouraging his public display of affection.