Why are the leaders in this country so reluctant to make a decision which would have a minimal budget impact and a major positive impact on Australian citizens from all walks of life?
The LGBTI community has members in all racial groups, all occupations, judges, miners, teachers, chefs, waiters, doctors, vets, theatrical performers, politicians – if I listed all the occupations this blog post would be very long and extremely boring
I think the driving emotion is fear. Fear of something they don’t understand. Fear that accepting someone else’s lifestyle is different equates to acknowledgement that your own lifestyle is somehow wrong or less than it could be.
Or perhaps I am wrong and it’s just fear that the LGBTI community might be having really good sex and they are missing out. They sure know how to have a good time – just look at Mardi Gras!
Fear of the unknown is a really powerful trope used in books and movies to manipulate the emotions of the audience. So what is it that homophobic people fear in this debate? Apparently they fear being labelled “homophobes” (refer to my earlier point about being wrong or less than you could be).
We should not fear what consenting individuals do behind closed doors. We should not fear explaining this to our children. Perhaps that is the real fear? Fear of getting trapped in an embarrassing conversation?
Do they fear that people who have different sexual preferences will influence their children or infect the rest of the community? Do they understand practices like paedophilia and bestiality (looking at you Cory Bernardi) are equally abhorrent to members of the LGBTI community?
I really think it might be simpler than this. People fear being compelled to talk about sex. This has been a communication barrier for years. A barrier to better education on contraception, prevention of disease, respect for women’s sexual choices, rape culture and so many other issues.
If you can avoid talking about it you can live in the security that the issue does not affect you or that you have somehow accidentally got it “right”.
Parents avoid educating their children until it is almost too late. Schools and educators develop convoluted arrangements including parental consent protocols to justify providing content at a particular stage of education. Churches run “mother and daughter” or “father and son” nights.
Kids in the playground share and compare knowledge obtained by stealth, from older siblings, from Google. Schools respond to media about sexting by separating the genders because the messages we give to boys and girls are different.
Same sex marriage confuses these nice neat classifications. It might require explaining to 5-year-olds. It might require the generations of the future to understand and accept more about their sexual identities and those of the people around them. But not what goes on behind closed doors. That does not change.
How hard can it be?
We have nothing to fear but fear itself.