Given the postal survey on marriage equality is well and truly underway, we thought we’d chat to some of the most vocal campaigners around the country to find out what the issue means to them on a personal level.
Sally Rugg, GetUp
“I truly believe that marriage equality will help create a society where LGBTIQ people aren’t treated differently because of who they are or who they love.
“While I don’t want to get married, I know so many people – particularly older people in the LGBTIQ community who have paved the way for the activism we do today – who are desperate to. I owe them this work.
“I also hate being told what to do. There’s no way I’m going to let the conservative elite tell me and my community that we’re not allowed to get married if we damn well want to.”
Alex Greenwich, Australian Marriage Equality
“Marriage equality is about fairness and equality for all. We need to show leadership, campaign with dignity and respect, and make sure as many Australians post back a yes vote so we can finally get this done.”
Tennille Moisel, JOY 94.9
“I don’t know if I want to get married, and I don’t know if I believe in the institution. But I also don’t know if they are my true feelings or just a product of growing up in the ‘80s and ‘90s in far north Queensland.
“A yes vote means that I get to genuinely consider the idea without having to limit my own thoughts.
“A yes outcome would mean that I could for the first time expect that my relationship was seen as real and valid and not something that it tolerated.”
Casey Conway, Indigenous youth advocate
“I have four brothers. I want the same rights as they do. They want me to have the same rights. I want young LGBTI people to be confident that they belong and that loving whoever they want is okay.
“Marrying the person you love and want to spend the rest of your life with shouldn’t be a dream, it should be a right afforded to every single person. Our community and allies are strong and we will mobilise so our voice will be heard. It can only be yes.”
Lauren Foy, NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby
“Marriage equality means that I can marry the person I love and have it recognised at home, in the country I live in. It means I can celebrate that with my friends and family.
“It means I can celebrate the marriages of my queer friends, if they want to get married. It means the next generation of young people don’t have to grow up knowing something is out of their reach. It means we have a choice. It means dignity. It means respect.”
Anthony Wallace, Equal Love
“When marriage equality is achieved in Australia my 12-year-old self will learn that the feelings of ‘love’ and ‘attraction’ I felt for other boys could have actually lead to marriage.
“The dream of falling in love with Mr Right and marrying him in the presence of our families would have been an actual tangible idea.
“I would’ve spent a great deal more time looking for Mr Right rather than looking for someone I was never going to be happy or fulfilled with. So marriage equality is sort of like me reclaiming my adolescence and allowing my younger self to live more freely and openly.”
Rodney Croome, marriage equality advocate
“Marriage equality matters to me for two simple reasons. Many of the worst myths and stereotypes about LGBTI people take refuge behind a law that says our relationships are less stable, committed, loving, and valuable than other people’s.
“Just as important to me is that LGBTI people feel we fully belong in the families and communities that have shaped who we are and this can’t happen as long as we are excluded from such a fundamental institution as marriage.”
Janet Rice, Greens Senator and LGBTI spokesperson
“As a politician, I know achieving marriage equality will remove a huge discrimination against LGBTIQ people and will allow the celebration of their relationships and their families as being as wonderful and valuable as anyone else’s.
“And for me personally it will mean that my gorgeous wife Penny who is transgender and I will be able to stay married when she affirms her gender on her birth certificate. After 31 years of marriage surely that’s not too much to ask!”
Anna Brown, Co-Chair of the Equality Campaign
“Marriage equality is about giving LGBTI people and their relationships the dignity and respect they deserve.
“All Australians should have the choice to marry the person they love and be afforded that social recognition and legal status. Our shared experiences of family and love are what make us human.”
Tiernan Brady, Australian Marriage Equality
“This must be a moment of national unity, a moment where we include everyone and afford them equal dignity. That’s why this must be a campaign of millions of respectful conversations.
“We all have to share the same country together the day after marriage equality and the tone we set will be the tone that all of us, especially LGBTI people, will have to live with long after the campaign ends.
“Winning is not the same as beating someone – real winning for LGBTI people is when we persuade others.”
Ivan Hinton-Teoh, just.equal
“As a child I learnt of love and commitment from the beautiful marriages of my parents, grandparents, and family friends.
“The campaign for marriage equality simply asks Australia to see the similarities of our relationships, recognise the importance of formal recognition, and the social value in removing unjust prejudice where it exists in law.
“But marriage equality will achieve something more significant. LGBTI Australians will no longer grow up being challenged about their place, their dignity, and future by our federal government.”