Ian Thorpe’s compassion

Ian Thorpe wants people to get behind the ‘yes’ vote on same-sex marriage to give hope to young gay people, “that young people can feel that and we start to get rid of all of those layers of discrimination the LGBTIQ community can face.” That’s a nice objective but is that a case for same-sex marriage? It is certainly not conclusive or assured. It seems a roundabout method to achieve such a goal. As I said in other blogs, same-sex marriage does nothing to benefit gay people, who already have the freedom to choose their partner and live in whatever way they like. I’m still waiting for a convincing argument on the ‘yes’ vote.

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1 thought on “Ian Thorpe’s compassion”

  1. It’s exactly why marriage is important for gay and lesbian people. Young gay and lesbian people grow up knowing that are not just ‘different’ but that they are not ‘equal’ to straight people. Any gay or lesbian person has experienced bullying, harassment, discrimination in some form during their lives, some quite severely. I am not gay myself but know many people who are, including many young people. I’ve worked as a Counsellor for a youth crisis service in the past. Many of the experiences I heard from young people who are gay or lesbian were harrowing an heartbreaking… and so unnecessary if we as a society just accepted them and loved them for who they are instead of stigmatising them. Rejected by their families, often kicked out of home as a teenager, bullied and mocked at school, bashed just for holding hands, always wondering if they should reveal if they are gay or not because they don’t know if they will get a negative hurtful reaction or be shunned, their relationships are seen as inferior and illegitimate- not at all the same as defacto straight couples who choose not to get married. They don’t have the same choice to get married or not, defacto couples do have that choice. Marriage is the bedrock of our society, young people look forward to finding a partner they can love and commit to, marry, start a family (or not), grow old together etc as a married couple. Yet gay and lesbian people are excluded from this and that sets them apart as ‘the other’, as ‘not approved of’ by our society. Marriage has changed many times over the centuries. (eg wives are no longer the property of their husbands). Marriage is a legal contract as well as a social and emotional one. For many it’s a religious commitment as well, although without a civil marriage certificate religious matrimony is not legal. In countries where same-sex marriage has been legalised, statistically gay and lesbian people are less stigmatised and more accepted, which leads to improved mental health and well being, more stable relationships, more stable and fairer society.

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