We’re about to vote, as a country, on same-sex marriage. Opinion survey papers were sent out on Tuesday to 16 million voters, and we have until 6pm, November 7, 2017 to return our votes.
No matter which side of the fence you sit on, there is very little anyone can say at this point to persuade you to move your opinion one way or another.
But there is one argument I heard recently, which helped to frame the whole debate into a reasonable context.
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I’m not about to try and sway you in any direction. We’re all entitled to our own opinions, which are developed as a result of our cultural, social and religious beliefs.
But hopefully this does give you some food for thought.
Imagine that the debate up for vote was not about gay marriage, but was instead about divorce.
Imagine that the people of Australia had been invited to participate in a vote that would determine whether divorce was legal or illegal.
Now, this may never impact you. You may never need to get divorced. You may even be opposed to divorce, and in favour of marriage between a man and a woman lasting until death do you part.
You might feel that divorce is against your religion, or that it’s against ‘the natural order’.
You might also consider that divorce poses a huge threat to the sanctity of marriage, and that it impacts that ability for a child to grow up with a mum and a dad in the same home.
You might know other people, lovely people, people you really care about, who might desire a divorce at some point in their future. And this vote could impact them.
It could be in their best interests – financially, mentally and emotionally – to divorce.
Your children could one day choose to get a divorce. Your vote could impact their future, and their children – your grandchildren.
This vote is not about divorce, because fortunately, since 1975 under the Family Law Act, Australian couples have had the right to dissolve their marriage.
Instead, this vote is about providing for marriage, rather than dissolving it.
As I said, food for thought. Keep an eye out for those ballot papers!