Mr Howard’s letter


Response to Mr Howard

I think your letter is a desperate bid by an old conservative to hold onto antiquated views about marriage. Arguing that the traditional model of the family is the only right way and arguing that all gay people are sexually depraved. Really, I have to say I am a bit disappointed.

Being pro – marriage equality is not trying to destroy traditional marriage or attack society’s foundation. Families have been changing in the way that they look and the way that they operate for at least the past 50 years. This makes the notion of the traditional marriage and traditional family very unhelpful to any current discussions we have about marriage equality.

The fact is that the traditional family, as in the nuclear family, isn’t even the norm in Australia, so arguing its preservation seems futile. And that’s before we even get to the topic of marriage equality. So how can marriage equality destroy something that isn’t  happening now?

I really struggle with how you can say that homosexual people have full equality. If they are not allowed to enter into the same legally binding marriage commitment as heterosexual people based purely on sexuality – then they are being treated differently – it’s as simple as that. And that is regardless of how many pieces of legislation currently exist.

Maybe instead of rallying the conservative troops with these outdated sentiments you could lead a discussion about how we can create peaceful loving home environments. Family environments that support and nurture all participants, regardless of sexuality. Because I can assure you, some of the people you are writing to, will be the parents and grandparents of gay children. And they too will want to create a good future for their loved ones.

Surely you are not suggesting in this letter that all gay people want to get married and then will impose gay sex on children. Give me a break. Have you been hanging out with Pauline Hanson, because this sounds like the kind of statement she might make? Designed to create maximum fear and a call to arms for the ignorant.

Grooming children for depraved sex acts happens. It is sick, but it happens. It happens by men and women who are straight, men and women who are gay, and men and women who have taken oaths to be celibate. It does not have a place in a discussion about marriage equality.

Have you ever stopped to consider the consequences of discriminating against homosexual people? I believe that by not allowing gay people to access full legal committed relationships, the same as their heterosexual equals, society effectively says to gay people, you are not worthy of having the same level of commitment in your relationships because you are different. Therefore, one might expect to see some different behaviours. Not at all surprising, and not an argument against marriage equality.

Lastly, not every woman that has a child is a good mother, just as not every man who becomes a father is a good one. So it is not a truth to say that every child needs to live with their mother and father. It is neither a truth nor a reality. Children need people around them who will love, encourage and support them unconditionally and we need to promote societal values that encourage that outcome. I believe that marriage equality is a good place to start.

In closing, I am sure I am not alone in thinking that there is an irony in hearing a politician talking about wasting time in parliament. However, you and I agree that this debate has been a huge waste of parliamentary time. If we want to see better futures for our children, there is only one way to vote.