Not That Long Ago I Would Have Voted No For Gay Marriage
There’s really nothing special about my gay friends who live with their partners. Their relationships seem just as mundane as my heterosexual friends.
None of them are really that happy about how much time their partner spends on Facebook. They all seem to argue about which plastic can be recycled. Pretty much all of them are debating whether they will get solar panels put up before summer. They really are just as beige as everyone else. If I try to find something that sets them apart the only thing I can think of is that they seem to have done a better job at sharing the domestic chores and have definitely lasted longer in a relationship than I ever have.
It’s embarrassing to admit that not that long I ago I would have voted no to gay marriage. I’ve spent my morning trying to remember what I possibly could have had against it and I have clearly moved so far away from my old way of thinking that absolutely no reasons surface. I don’t even know when I went from being opposed to gay marriage to being horrified that it’s even something we need to debate.
The way I feel about it now is as if we needed to decide if divorced people are allowed to marry again or if people weren’t allowed to marry someone with the same eye colour. Even the suggestion is ludicrous.
I distinctly remember talking to one of the mums at school and she was saying that they chose our school because they felt as if the community would be more understanding about their children having two mums than if they had gone to a mainstream school.
Her comment landed in an uncomfortable spot and I could hear her words over the next few days. I had never even considered having to choose schools based on my relationship.
This whole concept of discrimination because of sexuality was completely new to me. Like I said, it’s embarrassing to admit but it had somehow never crossed my radar. It’s very clear to me now that the reason I would have voted no if asked about gay marriage is that I had never really given it much thought and with no friends who were in that dynamic the whole concept was so foreign to me.
If I had the ability to go past my invisible privilege as a heterosexual woman and actually spend some time thinking it through I doubt that I could have looked passed some really obvious truths. For example, if the government is okay with gay couples fostering and adopting kids, then why not be okay with them marrying? How can one be acceptable without the other? It just doesn’t make any sense in the secular society that we live in.
Having quite a few friends who are in long term relationships with their gay partner this plebiscite feels horrific. I can’t imagine what it would be like for them right now having to have a public debate about their version of a loving union. I am sure that if I was in their shoes I wouldn’t have the emotional strength to speak up about my basic human right to marry the person I loved. The fear of speaking from my heart and having my family on display, only to run the risk of being publicly rejected would be too big.
I know that I would have wanted someone to speak up on my behalf. Someone who would feel passionately about this very obvious injustice even if it didn’t directly impact them.
That’s exactly why I am writing this. It’s too easy to assume that there are plenty of voices out there to support our friends or that if they feel strongly enough about it they will speak for themselves.
I can’t delete my ignorance that lasted well into my adulthood but I will do what I can from now on to advocate for those that find this whole process soul destroying.