This is my attitude to the Marriage Equality postal plebiscite survey: stop it if we can, win it if we must.
Why it should be stopped
For a start this is something that the Parliament should simply do its job on. Certainly that was the case in 2004 when the Parliament legislated to block Marriage Equality to prevent a court case from establishing it. And, yes, that link means that there have been two couples waiting for Marriage Equality in Australia for 13 years.
13 years. 13 years because a small minded government legislated directly to block their love from being given equal recognition before the law.
If a plebiscite wasn’t needed then, it’s not needed now. It is solely a means to generate delay by the same small minded party that made the change in the first place.
For a second, the so called “respectful debate” will be anything but. The dodge to use the Australian Bureau of Statistics rather than the Australian Electoral Commission has already turned up a nasty side effect: the usual rules won’t apply. But even if they did, the vitriol that’s going to be directed at the LGBTQI community will be vile. It’s only been a day or so and I’m already seeing the usual slanders – pedophilia, it will damage “straight” marriage, it’s part of a sinister agenda, etc, etc. To be honest I don’t think I’ve seen bestiality yet, but that’s only a matter of time.
Third, we’re already seeing the 1999 Republic referendum playbook rise again. This is not going to be anywhere close to an even fight, and it is being set up to fail.
All in all if the survey goes ahead it will be a shitshow of epic proportions and it’s all going to fall on the queer community. It doesn’t matter that there really aren’t any honest arguments against Marriage Equality, this will be a shitshow and one that I don’t want happening to my friends.
So I’ll be here cheering on that High Court challenge. I hope it wins, and I hope it wins big.
Win it if we must
The thing is though, we have to face the reality that court challenges sometimes, often, fail. That this appalling survey may go ahead.
In which case we need to win that sucker.
We need a resounding YES vote.
Oh, sure, the government will ignore that anyway: they have no intention of ever legislating for Marriage Equality. But a NO vote will give them an excuse.
Don’t give them that excuse.
This is the government that created this problem: make them own it.
Make Marriage Equality a running, bleeding, electoral sore that the LNP can never escape.
Make them suffer.
Force the LNP to the point of choosing between legislating for Marriage Equality anyway or being slaughtered at the ballot box.
So, if you’re Australian and reading this, then I need you to check your enrolment.
If you’re not enrolled or your enrolment is not up to date? ENROL*.
When the postal survey comes out: vote. Vote yes.
Send the message that needs to be sent.
*Oh, and you should be maintaining your enrolment anyway given that the next federal election is at most 18 months away, and probably less than 15 months.
Oh and just because I’m sitting in Canberra Airport a picture:
Have a nice day, see you in Perth.