One small thing for Marriage Equality

Shelley Argent, national spokesperson for PFLAG.
Shelley Argent, national spokesperson for PFLAG.

A Writer’s appeal for 10 minutes of your time.

I CAN sense you rolling your eyes, which were probably glazing over. Another person carrying on about marriage equality in Australia?

Isn’t it inevitable? Shouldn’t Michael just sit quietly and wait for his relationship to become legally recognised as marriage?

Well, no.

Because right now, Australia may well be creating some kind of global record for the highest community support for marriage equality – over 70 per cent and rising – without a single piece of legislation upholding that community’s opinion.

“Just recently, close to two million emails were sent and brushed aside.”

In countries where marriage equality has already become law, support rarely sits at more than the kind of majority it takes to form government at an election.

Tony Abbott, Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard – the trio of prime ministers who have presided over the marriage equality political debate – wish they had 70pc support on any issue, let alone a simple, budget-neutral legislation shift that would allow same-sex attracted couples access to The Marriage Act.

So, it’s not happening unless we all do something about it.

Someone who has long been taking action is Shelley Argent, the national spokesperson for the Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG).

Shelley has always had a very simple message. She has two sons – one straight, one gay – and all she wants is the same relationship rights for both.

This week, Shelley is asking for our help.

She’s going to Canberra, and she wants to take a letter, from you, to deliver to the parliament. 

Shelley wants to take real letters on paper to hand deliver a message, and she wants two million of them, but she only has a few days to get them together.

“Just recently, close to two million emails were sent and brushed aside,” Shelley said. “However, the government cannot ignore two million hand-delivered letters”.

“Please take the time to do this and email your letter to me. This is a cost-free campaign that will show every MP and Senator they can no longer claim that their constituents aren’t supportive of marriage equality.

“Letters don’t need to be long, two paragraphs are enough.”

Now, before you panic and wonder if your printer is even still working, fear not. Shelley and the PFLAG team will print out your letter if you email it to them. They have created a template for you to follow (follow above link) if you’re stuck for words.

“The LGBTIQ community is not going away until they get the choice, right and privilege to marry the person they love,” Shelley said.

“The more letters received, the better the impact.”

The deadline is next Wednesday May 27 – please get writing.

Michael Burge is an Australian writer and journalist, author of a book about homophobia in Australia – Questionable Deeds.

© Michael Burge, all rights reserved.

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