This could have been a minor event for anyone outside NRL or Macklemore fandom (where I generally reside) but for the fact we are in the middle of a faux plebiscite and heated public debate over legalising "same sex marriage". I actually prefer the term marriage equality as it includes everyone, not just those falling within the gender binary, but that's a whole other blog post I need to find time to write. The spotlight was thrown on this one performance of this one song when our former Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, who has basically been throwing a public toddler tantrum since he was ousted from the top spot by our present PM, told the world the NRL should not be politicising the Grand Final by having Macklemore perform his heathen same sex spell on we innocent members of the public.
Ok Tony. Lets just look at this for a minute...
First of all, no one was politicising the Grand Final until you stuck your snivelling face in front of yet another microphone and drew attention to it. You politicised that moment. YOU.
If your aim was to shame the NRL, Macklemore, and anyone who was already planning to witness the performance into disgust, all you did was draw even more attention and a bigger audience to it. I mean really, how many people tuned into the half time entertainment just based on the spotlight Abbottoir threw on it? Moths, meet flame.
And what a performance it was. What would have been just been an adequate half time performance from an international rap star was turned into a mardi gras festival of equality in love, complete with rainbow flags, multicoloured fireworks and an audience filled with people of all demographics holding up their hands in love heart formations. Well done, Tony, you whiny little mosquito. You really sprayed a hose full of fuel on that fire, didn't you?
Macklemore? More like Mack L'amour! Amirite?
But most of all, I must call into question the idea that the NRL hiring Macklemore was "politicising" the Grand Final. Because the real question to me is, why are politicians politicising a human rights issue? Marriage is a right that should be available to all adult human beings. Just as voting is. Just as we rid ourselves of discrimination against women, races, etc, we need to rid ourselves once and for all of this discrimination against homosexuality, and with that, non-straight couples seeking to celebrate their love through marriage.
Australians registered on the electoral role have all been sent a form with one simple question and a yes or no box to tick. I won't go into the pros and cons of the method, or the amount of money we tax payers are forking out for the whole process. I just want to concentrate on that single question.
Unfortunately, Channel 9 chose to air a No Campaign ad directly after the Macklemore performance. Whether that was some sort of personal "fuck you" from the station we will never know, but what needs to be mentioned is that I've yet to see a No Campaign ad that actually addresses the one simple question on the form that's been sent out. And this more than anything has pissed me off. More than one of the ads directly targets my own flesh and blood. These ads use scare tactics such as insinuating that a Yes vote will result in radical sex education being introduced into primary schools, and *gasp* people encouraging our children to transition genders.
Cue Helen Lovejoy
I have to wonder why the No Campaign have resorted to scaring people on subjects that are unrelated to voting yes or no on same sex marriage? Could it be that they can't come up with a valid argument as to why we should vote no on that one question alone? hmm.
Along with the Yes and No campaigns, featuring regularly in news reports of late have been various polling services, all trying to predict what the outcome may be. A bit difficult when the subject itself is also just a poll (a non-binding, non-compulsory questionnaire, run by the ABS). Still, I cant help but look at them, trying to glean some hope that common sense will prevail. What results I have found have been predictable. Inner cities are pro-Yes, while rural leans more towards No.
But the one that eats at me most is, the older the generation, the closer to No the votes lean. Meaning the people who have the least amount of years left to live will be preventing future generations from marrying who they wish. Sounds harsh? Maybe. But it's the truth. There are people right now who might be dead in 5, 10, 15 years, when the Transperger will be just entering marrying age, that probably don't and won't ever know her, and may not even be alive at that milestone, who are ticking no on that box, and robbing her of a right they themselves have probably enjoyed for decades. There are people who have not even been born yet that will have that right taken from them before their gender has been even formed in the womb, by people who will be in their coffins.
And for what? Judging by the No Campaign's public statements so far, even they don't know. So they deflect to unrelated, irrelevant scare tactics and make innocent children, of which my daughter is one, both targets and victims of discrimination.
If I had a chance to talk to someone who was contemplating voting no, I would simply ask "Why?" Why do you want to hurt, not just gay people now who wish to marry, but many, many generations to come. Why do you want to rob people like my daughter of that public celebration and declaration of love? Why do you think this affects you in some way? What difference to your life does it make for two people who are in love get married? Does it make you feel better to crush the dreams not only for a gay couple, but for the people that love them - Parents, sons, daughters, close friends? Why do you want to have such a negative influence on a group of innocent people in a situation that has zero impact on your day to day existence? And one that will impact millions of people even beyond your existence?
You may put this passionate statement down as one fuelled by a personal connection. A mother protecting her child and trying to make sure she has the same rights as straight couples enjoy. But I can assure you, I was signing marriage equality petitions before I was ever a mother. Because this is a human rights issue. This is a discrimination issue. I should not have the right to prevent the marriage of two people I don't know. And frankly, it's none of my damn business if someone wants to marry someone that they love, who is of the same gender. Don't make it yours.
PLEASE VOTE YES TO LOVE.
The only acceptable No vote