COMMENT: In marriage equality debate thankfully love and hate is not in equal measure

You’ve registered to vote haven’t you?

Thursday night was the cut-off to enrol, or make any necessary changes, to be eligible to vote in the upcoming postal survey on marriage equality.

It would appear there’s been more of a rush of people making sure their details are up to date for this survey than there has been for any previous government election.

Between August 8 and 20, the AEC has revealed there had been 36,769 new enrolments and 434,026 enrolment update transactions processed.

The National Union of Students is confident the majority of those have been students or younger people, who polling has found are vastly in favour of marriage equality.

We will all be asked “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”

There’s real concern the whole premise of putting that question to a non-binding public survey will bring nastiness to the fore – and so it’s come to pass.

Just this week a fellow Fairfax editor received a hate-filled letter condemning his – to be completely honest – impartiality.

However, there is also a lot of love on show – encouragingly rather a significant amount in the Bega Valley. 

When Cobargo couple and Australia Post franchisees David Wilson and Kyle Moser were ordered to take down their rainbow flag, other stores in town started raising them in solidarity.

When Merimbula’s John Holmes said he felt disgusted he’s denied the same right to get married as any other Australian adult in a loving relationship, there was a huge outpouring of support.

Not in the least surprising as John and Jonathan have been in a relationship for 22 years and “not a day goes by where we have not said ‘I love you’”.

How many married couples could say the same?

This survey is not about homosexuality and whether you approve or not. Homosexuality is not illegal. Society thankfully has well and truly moved on from that debate. Bigotry is not illegal either.

This is about allowing every Australian equal rights when it comes to making a loving commitment to another person.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, just as everyone is entitled to be treated equally, including same-sex couples.



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