Thanks for not allowing homophobia to become law
Imagine that two people are standing before you; they are in love.
They have travelled the world together and they are committed to spending the rest of their lives together. They are bonded in every single way, bar their lack of a marriage licence.
There they stand, at the registry office, waiting to cement their bond through a legal precedent that unites them in the eyes of the law and gives them rights.
Just as they are about to sign their certificate, someone bashes down the door of the registry office. “No,” they shout. “No! You cannot do this.” The couple become confused. How can their personal promise affect this person so much?
How can it fill them with so much hate that they would want to prevent them from having that same bond that thousands have here, and that millions have abroad?
“You cannot do this because I believe that it will reorder society,” shouts the intruder.
“You cannot do this because our children will grow up in a society where they think that you and your people are acceptable.”
More people rush in, emboldened by the zealot’s fervour. Marriage belongs to them, they think, and they should be able to preserve it.
What these two people are trying to do is wrong, and they are going to send society to hell in a handbasket. In fact, how dare they?
A few people stand up and say that no one has the right to prevent someone else from getting married, and that what the others are saying is unnecessarily hateful. However, most just sit there, sucking their teeth and looking at their nails because they don’t see it as their issue.
The couple can’t believe this. What is so wrong about their marriage? What is so wrong about them cementing their bond and showing their love, in the way that so many others have?
The couple walk out of the registry office. “It’ll change one day” says the man to his would-be wife. “One day, no one is going to care that the colour of our skin is different, and we can be married just like everybody else.”
Fifty-five years later, their grandson and his boyfriend walk into that same registry office, and they are terrified that they will have to face the same kind of abuse, language and discrimination that their grandparents had to. But they don’t. Because despite the weak-willed, homophobic and archaic politicians that voted to exclude them from the Human Rights Act, six brave senators fought for their rights, even when it wasn’t the popular thing to do.
Sir, I would like to thank senators Michael Fahy, Georgia Marshall, Jeff Baron, Lynne Woolridge, Kim Wilkerson and James Jardine for not allowing homophobia to become law, and for letting love triumph and flourish once again.