Sitting in a transit lounge at the airport in Amman, Jordan is a curious place to be watching the unfolding of one of the more significant moments in the history of the queer rights movement in Australia.
I am here with Senthorun Raj, our senior policy advisor, en route to Tel Aviv for a World LGBT Youth Leaders Summit.
As we juggle one iPhone between us, marvelling at the sea of people surrounding the Darling Harbour Convention Centre, I feel satisfaction and pride at the way our community has worked together on such a significant issue of equality for us all.
Sincere thanks to those who have led from the front in the marriage campaign — notably Australian Marriage Equality and Community Action Against Homophobia.
This campaign has spoken not just to those in the queer community, but to every Australian who believes our future lies in the celebration of our differences and the pursuit of a society committed to social justice for all.
The recent marriage equality video released by Getup!, which has had more than three million YouTube hits in a little over a week, is testament to the readiness for this country to embrace a broader and more inclusive account of the values it holds dear.
In recognition of the mood of the country, the Labor Party has amended its national platform in support of marriage equality. Congratulations and thank you to all those in the party who have worked so tirelessly to make it happen.
Of course, this is not yet the time for celebration. The fact that the platform change is not binding, and that Labor MPs will be given a conscience vote on the issue, makes the pursuit of allies from across the political spectrum an imperative. While understandably many may be disappointed with the outcome on the conscience vote issue, in some ways this outcome has strategic advantages, as it increases the pressure on the Coalition to offer its own MPs the same freedom.
There is still plenty of work to be done, but at least the path ahead is clear. It is time to end the discrimination. It is time to recognise the dignity of our sexuality and the depth of our relationships.
We have been working as a community for more than 30 years to reach this point, and we will not stop now. This is our time.
Justin Koonin is a co-convenor of the NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby