Prior to being diagnosed with dementia, I understood intellectually that some groups in our community were disadvantaged, and being treated unfairly, being discriminated and stigmatised, and basically worse off than me. But it took me to get dementia to really ‘get it’, and to be game to speak up for any group or individual being treated unfairly. Annoying for some, but personally, I see it as one of the gifts of dementia!
I’m in a heterosexual relationship, and was allowed to get married, even more than once! The marriages were able to take place in a church, or the marriage registry office, or anywhere I chose, as long as the person marrying us was legally registered to do so. In my case, it was third time lucky, and I found the perfect man, who also believes in fairness, equality and is very egalitarian in his views about women; not a bone or cell of chauvinism that I’ve ever been able to find.
In my days as a chef at Beaumont House, which is now the head office for the National Trust in Adelaide SA, I provided the venue and food for a number of gay or lesbian couples to have ‘commitment ceremonies’, and whilst they were not legally binding marriages, they were some of the most beautiful ‘weddings’ I ever catered for. Some of the homophobes in my life were openly horrified…
Getting to my point, I am proud to say I support gay marriage, and equality for ALL people in Australia, and indeed, around the world, although I understand there are some cultures where I might be shot for saying that publicly.
Hopefully, it is ok to say it in Australia. Some of our politicians simply need to leave, as they are out of touch with the majority of people, who support equality for all, including in marriage. Julia Gillard when she was Prime Minister, opposed it, simply by saying it was not important, and why does someone need to get married anyway, simply because she chose not to. Yes,that’s right, she had a choice, and there was not a law in sight to stop her. Two ex Liberal Prime Ministers are currently puffing their chests up to say Vote no. Both of the major parties have a strong cohort who are quietly or openly saying ‘vote no’, but slowly emerging are a few who are willing to stand up to their own parties.
Last week, I signed this petition and hope you will too. Below are three PDFs with relevant information, the first is the Key Facts on Marriage Equality, authored by Australian Marriage Quality, and two on how to make sure you are enrolled to vote on this very important issue. If you are not enrolled, or you have not changed your address at the Electoral Commission, please download the forms on why to vote yes, and how to make sure you are enrolled.
This is also a human rights issue, one of my key focuses in life today, and not just for people with dementia. Come on Aussie, come on, come on…