NEWCASTLE schoolboy Orlando Burcham’s letter to Prime Minister Tony Abbott has reached global media networks this week after Australian Marriage Equality first posted it on Facebook last week.
In Orlando’s letter, he asks the PM why he won’t legalise gay marriage in Australia.
Burcham’s letter and the PM’s response first surfaced on the Australian Marriage Equality Facebook page.
In the comments, Orlando’s mum, Liberal Councillor Cordelia Troy, wrote: “So proud of my boy, such a beautiful heart for justice. he sat and wrote this one night after hearing a news report. The only hint was ‘mum, how do you spell beautiful?’ then ‘how do you spell pathetic?’ Such generous words on here, his little chest is puffed out proud tonight. Thank you all xxx This generation will bridge the gap.”
The letter reads:
Dear Tony Abbott
My name is Orlando Burcham, I am 11 years old and I would like to know why you don’t allow “gay marriage” in Australia.
Because the majority of Australians are happily married, so why are you stopping all the gay men/women to be married in this beautiful country?
My mother is gay and even worse your own sister is gay! And thousands more are as well. You have actually met my mum Councillor Cordelia Troy who is a member of the Liberal Party and she was deputy major at the time.
It is so pathetic that you aren’t letting the gay people of Australia and other countries get married here. Millions of people in the world and when they come to Australia and think ‘wow this place is great1 Let’s get married here!’ And then they remember that they can’t. So they spend thousands of dollars to go somewhere they can get married. My mum is married but she had to go to New York, which took a lot of money.
You were elected to represent our country, not yourself. Just because you think it’s wrong, does not give you the right to make it illegal. Doesn’t our opinions matter to you? Just because you’re the Prime Minister, which by the way does not give you all the power.
I hope you change your mind.
PM Tony Abbott’s response:
Thank you for letting me know your views about same sex marriage.
I appreciate the deep feelings that many in the community have on either side of the issue.
The Government supports the current definition of marriage contained in the Marriage Act 1961. Any change to this policy would be a matter for the Coalition Party Room.
My personal opinion is to support the existing definition of marriage.
Though we disagree on this issue, I respect the views you have put forward.
Ongoing dialogue between government and citizens keeps our democracy strong.
Thank you again for writing to me.
This is not the first time a letter has been written to the PM regarding marriage equality. In January, the Star Observer was the first to report on a letter written by a four-year-old Sydney girl Sabrina Franco who, like Orlando, wanted marriage equality not only for her mum’s gay friends, but the rest of the LGBTI community.
Like Orlando, Sabrina’s letter made waves in both mainstream and LGBTI media around the world.
What do you think of PM Tony Abbott’s response to the 11 year old boy Orlando Burcham’s letter? Comment below.