Why Being Gay in Australia is Better than the USA

I don’t really intend to make this a weblog about marriage equality, but the excitement is still lingering for me and many other Australians. I was thinking about something though about being gay in the United States. The lawmakers in many states (and probably nationwide) are constantly thinking of many creative ways how they can make marriage equality a little less equal and etch discrimination into the laws to make it a lot less meaningful. They essentially think like “well, we have to live with it, but let’s make it as hard as possible for them, so we can still believe that our marriages are still superior”. So, you have all these lawmakers scrambling to allow states to remove benefits for same-sex couples and how to make it harder to get weddings done. I’ve already explained my stance on that, which is basically if someone isn’t going to put their whole heart and energy into my plans (because of who I’m with) then someone else will. Again, let me iterate that I don’t think that’s nice and under most circumstances, it shouldn’t be legal to withhold products and services from someone just because you don’t like them or agree with them.

Anyway, the point of this is that here in Australia, I don’t think I will be seeing much of the “waaaaah, I have to bake cookies for a newlywed gay couple” stuff like there is in the USA. But, I’ve also told many, many, many people here that whether they realise it or not, the USA (its people and laws) is deeply entrenched in religion. You don’t really see that until you’re American and go somewhere else that 100% guarantees freedom from religion (which I think is GREAT). (Even during Christmas, may I add: no one is whining about red cups. No one is bitching about people saying Happy Christmas or Happy Holidays. Do you know why? Because people have better things to do.) Also, people in the USA, or at least where I am originally from, are really eager to gag and choke others with their religion.

You can understand why it’s so difficult for me to want to go and live in the USA where a few years later, people still aren’t over the fact that people of the same sex can marry. The laws that the state governments and federal government make or change proves that. I don’t need to have my feet on US soil to see that. I hear it directly from people, not from “fake news” websites. It’s really sad.

Australia’s discrimination laws are so much better than the USA. You can’t do half of what some of the states in the USA can get away with. No one gives two shits about trans people using restrooms (tee-hee). No one can discriminate, COUNTRY-WIDE, based on sexual preference, gender identity, religion, etc. It’s all been law basically since I’ve been here. That’s because people don’t get their knickers in a twist. That’s why I love Australia. The marriage equality, which is law now, meaning people could get married today if they could, is just the icing on the gay cake baked by someone who doesn’t care who they bake a cake for. It’s just another reason why I love my adopted country like I do and always will.

I do think that there will be some “protections” happening in Australia at some point, but at least the government is actually looking into how things stand at the moment or in the distant future before any of those “protections” become law. (Discriminatory laws DO NOT AND WILL NOT PASS here, Americans.)

It’s kind of hilarious because people think I have this real hatred towards the USA. I’m always making points why life is so much better over here than here, but seriously, it is a great place to live and I’m honestly a lot more happier here, but home is where my family is and I don’t hate it. I dislike quite a few things about it right now, but when I have a chance to move back, I will. (I really wish I could just move everybody here.) The USA has given me a lot of great opportunities in the past and it was all I knew until I first came here. I’ve seen the other side of the fence and love it, that’s all. I wish the USA was more progressive and really wish that people would stop latching on to all their fears to vote in inexperienced, weak leaders who want to spend more time telling people what they can’t do to make themselves feel better. Oh well, hopefully one day people there will wake up.

Australia Says “YES”

yesfest
Australia Says Yes… like everybody knew they would, but apparently it takes wasting $122 million to figure that out. Pic is from Equal Love.

Exciting news! The Australian people have voted in favour of marriage equality.

Over 61% said yes. [Australia votes ‘yes’ to same-sex marriage.]

It’s a little funny though. I really thought that it would have happened before it did in the USA, but even despite that, I didn’t have too many problems with it because Australia is such a laid-back, relaxed place and even without marriage equality, same-sex couples still had a lot more rights than they did in the USA (and still do, honestly).

Something important to know is that it is not legal yet. It basically gives everybody in Parliament the right to a free vote (and hopefully, if they aren’t douchebags, vote with the rest of the country). A Bill needs to be written to make it law and the politicians have to vote on it.

It’s also a bit funny when the people on the “No” side said that the country shouldn’t cater to minorities when it comes to same-sex marriage. Do you know who IS the minority now? Them. Now they’re wanting to make it as hard as possible by writing discrimination into Australian law. They say “Oh, but we have to get our way too since we lost.” You know what would happen if the result was the other way around? Exactly. I don’t feel bad for them. Not. At. All. That’s why I don’t like religion and why being in a country that’s not so religious is great.

It’s also nice to see that Australians don’t have shit for brains like their American counterparts. Thank you, Australians!

Sorry that this was posted so late. I wrote this for Wednesday and forgot to post it! I made a few changes to this post though. (Also true: I’m infuriated, bored, and tired.)

I Said ‘Yes’ to Marriage Equality in Australia

You guys and girls remember how I feel about the voluntary, non-binding, postal marriage equality survey the Australian government is mailing out, right? Well, last week, I got mine. I reluctantly filled it out and posted it back to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

It’s no secret how I answered it.

surveyform
Other countries have let people of the same sex get married for years now and the world hasn’t ended. Nobody, that I know of, has been forced into a relationship with someone of the same sex. No one has had their “traditional” marriages invalidated.

Even if I was straight, I’d answer it the same way because, seriously, how would it affect me and my relationships? The answer is that it wouldn’t.

I’ve seen some posts about how this is a slippery slope. Who says that it wouldn’t lead to any of these things:

  • Someone wanting to marry their toaster, microwave, cake mixer, refrigerator, pasta machine, or any other kitchen appliance.
  • Someone wanting to marry their cat, dog, ferret, a pear tree, or the neighbour’s chinchilla, or some other living thing.
  • Someone wanting to marry their dad, mom, brother, sister, cousin, aunt, uncle, or some other blood relative.
  • Someone wanting to marry 12 people at the same time to partake in Hot Pocket- and Mountain Dew-fueled orgies every second night–okay, every night.
  • Someone wanting to marry someone underage.
  • Someone else getting married to someone of the same sex is against my religion. I’ll be forced to marry someone of the same sex.

Let’s think about that list a little bit, shall we? First off, objects, places, and things can’t sign the required documents for it to happen. Plus, that sounds really boring. Who would they argue with? Siri isn’t an option. She’s not interested. I’ve asked.

Animals also can’t sign documents unless they’re really talented. They can’t consent either. What would people say? “Lick my face if you want to get married, chew off my face if you don’t.”

Relatives? Gross. There are a few moral and ethical issues here; issues that I shouldn’t really have to explain. Yes, some people have questionable morality and ethical reasoning and want to do this, but it shouldn’t be legal.

Polygamy? Having multiple boyfriends/girlfriends is hard enough. Having multiple husbands/wives would be much, much harder. Not worth the effort. Not worth the jealousy. Just not worth fighting for. (Hot Pockets sound good though. I like the ham and cheese ones. I haven’t had one in a long time.)

Underage… that one came up quite often. Not only is this dumb, it’s also stupid. Most people know that morally and ethically this isn’t something you do. Plus, you can’t enter in a legal contract with someone who doesn’t have the capacity to do so. You can’t get consent to do something like this from someone that’s not a legal age. Plus… why would this be equated to someone wanting to be with someone of the same sex for the rest of their life?

So, what I’m saying is that same-sex couples aren’t looking for any of these things. They’re just two consenting adults who want their relationship validated legally so they have the same protections as someone who is married. Nothing more, nothing less. I’m not asking for a second birthday or my own island. I just want to be with someone for the rest of their lives. I want to be able to make important medical decisions (if it comes to that) in the case they can’t. I want to be able to call my relationship a marriage when and if it gets to that point. I just want equality, really.

Now, there are people who say “no” for religious reasons. That’s okay. I totally get that the Bible can be translated and interpreted any way that suits them. However, it’s my firm belief that religion and religious teachings shouldn’t be shoved down people’s throats because not everybody follows the same religion or even has a religious affiliation. I firmly believe of a total separation of church and state. It’s sad that the states in the USA don’t really believe in something so silly. If you don’t want to marry someone of the same sex, you don’t have to. Just don’t think about it.

Basically, I think if two adults love each other in a deeply romantic way and they both want to marry each other, they should be allowed to marry. Religion has nothing to do with it.

Let me add that this survey feels like one of those “vote for your favourite” on a reality TV show. It’s really dumb and it’s a huge waste of money.

Marriage Equality in Australia: Will It Happen?

Do you remember that marriage equality survey I was telling you about? You remember, right, the one that is wasting $122,000,000 of taxpayer money? Well, it’s going ahead. I’m still disgusted by this survey and I really, really wish that the money was being used for something else like healthcare, education, or actually helping the Australian community rather than dividing it.

It’s sad, but I don’t have much hope in something like that given the results of the US presidential election and the whole Brexit thing. There were some reports that only 65% of the voters will actually do this survey and when it comes to the 18-34 age group, the percentage is even lower. Not only that, the support for it is falling and the opposition is rising.

If someone wants to answer this, feel free to let me know. I’d love to see a good reason.

If the older generation get their way (on anything), nothing will change. Ever. These are the people whose lives are just about over and they aren’t going to have to live with the results. The younger generation, yes. They have every reason to do this because it is going to affect them (and their family and friends) for a lot longer. It really shouldn’t even be up to an opinion poll about whether this should be done because it doesn’t affect anybody else except the two consenting adults that get married.

I don’t care if churches can refuse to marry people of the same sex. I, personally, wouldn’t care because when I get married, it’s not a religious issue. It’s basically being with the person you want to be with and the legal benefits of being married. So if the religious groups want to say they won’t do it, then fine. They don’t have to. It’s super simple and that’s how it works in almost every country that it’s legalised in. No big deal.

It makes me think, if the US Supreme Court didn’t vote for marriage equality (directly or indirectly), would it be a reality now? I mean, if it were up to the people of the USA to vote for it, I don’t think it would be. I’m curious to know what you think with a short little poll.

Do you think marriage equality would exist in the USA if it were up to the voters to decide instead of the US Supreme Court?

View Results

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An Expensive, Unnecessary, Taxpayer-Funded Opinion Poll for Marriage Equality?

It looks like the Australian government’s same-sex marriage plebiscite thing has a chance of happening. In case you’re too lazy to click the link, basically it’s an opinion poll whether voters think that the law should be amended to allow same-sex couples to marry.

Is it a good way to gauge the enrolled voters’ opinion? Or should they just read any of the opinion polls that were done for the past ten years and realise that people want and have wanted this to happen and save the $122,000,000 (or more) it will cost to run this unnecessary opinion poll?

I have a few problems with this little proposition the government has put forward.

This opinion poll is non-binding meaning, if people in a certain electorate vote to amend the law (“YES”), but the representative thinks two people of the same-sex are icky and need a new, heavy Bible, then they can vote against it in Parliament. If it was binding, that would make me feel a lot better about it. It’s still an awful idea–unless they add something else to the “ballot” (or questionnaire, really) like euthanasia.

This opinion poll is a hotbed for disrespect on BOTH sides of the fence. There is going to be a lot of nastiness, disrespect, and hatred being spewed out from this. I can’t really see a respectful debate happening from a lot of people.

The law, when it was changed from neutral to a man + woman, wasn’t changed in the same process.¬†No one asked the public what they thought. No money was spent for one person to make the decision for the rest of us. It was changed in one day (which COULD BE DONE TODAY IF ONLY THE LIBERALS WOULD ALLOW IT) by someone who is afraid of change.

This opinion poll (and I’m calling it that because that’s what it is–an expensive opinion poll, but I’ll get to that later) is not compulsory like other elections are. Since it’s not classified as a “real” election, people living overseas can’t just waltz into an embassy in another country and vote. That’s a big problem for those men and women who had to leave Australia to marry their partner because they couldn’t do it here.

It’s expensive. I’d much, much, MUCH rather see my tax money being spent on something else than an opinion poll. There are so many other things that money can be spent on:

  • Health care
  • Homelessness
  • Animal welfare
  • Domestic abuse
  • Drug/alcohol programs
  • Domestic violence programs
  • Training new medical staff
  • Funding aged care and senior pensioners
  • Renewable energy
  • Mental health services
  • Disability services
  • Child protection services
  • Better communication infrastructure
  • Better transportation infrastructure
  • …you get my point

This opinion poll will be rife with fraud. The Prime Minister said in the past that would be a big problem with it. So now, he’s okay with it? Is that right? Because he knows that if he goes along with a free vote, he’ll lose power since it’s the zealots who are keeping him in power and they’re the ones pulling the strings?

As a gay man myself, I feel very unhappy, upset, and angry because it came to this point. If the PM would allow a free vote, it could happen today, but as I said, he has to make the religious nut jobs who keep him in power happy. I guess what I’m saying is that he has no backbone, he’s weak, and doesn’t stand up for what he, himself, believes is right.

I really hope that the government party in power right now get voted out next time. I’m tired of them. I’m tired of this. I hope he loses his job and quits politics. Marriage equality should have happened a LONG TIME AGO in this country.

Though I don’t like it, I’ll still participate in this little poll. I still think it’s incredibly dumb, expensive, and a waste of money but if that’s what it takes to get marriage equality to happen in this country, then I’ll do it. To me, boycotting this stupid process isn’t worth it.