Marriage Equality Survey: A waste of tax payers’ money? Or A chance for Australia to talk?
Well really, a little bit of both. Once the Turnbull government decided it wasn’t going to get its plebiscite through the senate they decided on the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) as an avenue to by-pass the senate and still get a ‘vote’ to the people through the means of an optional postal survey. Very expensive, sadly non-binding and definitely a little too convenient for the Turnbull government’s ultimate end goal (continued power and increased voter approval).
Although not as good as an actual binding public vote which we could easily be quite pessimistic about, what this survey has created is the chance for most everyday Australians to voice their opinions and concerns for what is being asked of us. Which put simply is ‘do you want the marriage act law to be changed to allow same sex couples to marry?’ There are two sides to every story, including this one. Yes and No. The yes benefits the majority in our opinion because it allows the future generations to live in a country where fairness and equality is not determined by the gender in whom you love. The no benefits those who like things the way they are Church and State alike. The no voters are getting a fair bit of deserved and undeserved heat and backlash. But we need to remember Marriage is very sacred and traditional for some people who want it kept that way, especially in the Church. Therefore we need to respect their opinions, values and beliefs, just like they need to respect the yes people’s opinions, values and beliefs.
No matter the result, it has given Australians time to reflect, voice their concerns and most importantly have a conversation about Gay Marriage Rights. Let’s hope that if it is a Yes, the government will honour the voice of the people and pass the legislation into law. Worse case if it is a no vote lets hope that the Yes movement continues momentum and pushes for a referendum in the not too distant future, which is indeed a binding and constitution changing vote.
The rest of the world is taking steps, but right now Australia is just coasting along, let’s hope we don’t fall too far behind, as there are many other issues that equally need some drastic attention and healthy debate.