On Tuesday evening here in the US I was anxiously awaiting the results of the marriage equality survey to be announced.
Having been through it here it brought back all the emotions of the fight for equality again and when my wife Lindsay yelled out the result during a bootcamp class the tears rolled down my face.
Our bootcampers cheered the result, which made us proud of the environment we have created at our gym.
Having said that, it angers me still that there was the need to spend more than $100 million to ask total strangers to help decide whether or not two consenting adults in love could get married.
Just think of the good that could have been done with that money. The list is endless. Even as I write this I can feel my frustration kick in again.
I have heard many stories of hatred and division that has occurred including stories from my friends who have experienced this hatred, which saddens me even more. I guess I didn’t expect Australians to be so divisive on this issue.
So with the result being an overwhelming Yes there can be no turning back and this must lead to a legal ruling otherwise it was all for nothing and the Government should be ashamed of itself for wasting taxpayers dollars again.
When marriage equality became legal here in the US it was a life-changer.
No longer did we have to worry about the “what if’s” any more? For example, if my wife Lindsay were to be in an accident there was every chance my children could have been taken from me, even though I was there from their births. We had to pay thousands of dollars for me to adopt my own children. This is just the tip of the iceberg. but to explain the rest I would need the whole newspaper. When marriage equality was passed in the US the sun still rose in the morning and the moon at night.
We live our lives like any ordinary couple with children. We wake up, have breakfast together and argue about who gets to pick the show in the morning to watch. We make lunches and take our kids to school. We go to work and later pick the kids up from school and take them to swimming or ballet classes. We come home, cook dinner and talk about the day’s events and ask what they hope Santa will bring them for Christmas this year. We share the same concerns for our children. Sounds like any other married couple, right? Well, surprise, we are just like any other married couple.
Being able to be legally married and to be able to say that this is my wife rather than “girlfriend or life partner” means so much more but it gives us the legal rights just like any other.
Our family has yet to receive any negative treatment here in Indianapolis since marriage became legal for gay couples, but that isn’t to say that other LGBTQI families haven’t.
To the five million people who voted No, you didn’t change anyone.
There are gay couples who have been together for years and your No vote will never change that, just like the 61 per cent who voted Yes, your vote won’t change anyone either but what it will do is validate these relationships and for that I am grateful. You are who you are.
Some of the arguments against marriage equality are just ridiculous and it’s interesting to note that when I talk to Americans they are surprised that Australia has not yet made marriage equality legal.
In their minds, Australia is the land of a “fair go for all” and “she’ll be right mate”.
Why has it taken so long, they ask. To this question I have no answer.
I am an optimist though and so I cannot wait to come home soon and on Australian soil have my wife and I legally recognised as being married.
Thank you to all those who have supported the LGBTQI community and for the 61 per cent who voted Yes, and thank you to my mum and dad for supporting me and my family.