Yesterday Tony Abbot said this is all about family, and, I couldn’t agree with him more. This is about what sort of families we will allow in Australia. Is it not??
When two people love each other and want to spend their lives together, one of the most beautiful outward expressions of their love is to create a family together. I consider myself lucky to have met my fabulous husband young and have three healthy children, and an on occasions various exchange students. But the idea that one man and one woman have children, and that constitutes a family, is fanciful. In 2017 in Australia, families come in all shapes and sizes;
Exhibit one: My beautiful sister in law. She is doing an amazing job raising two gorgeous girls on her own since my little brother died of cancer.
Or my adorable friend Rachael who met her loving husband later in life and she is helping raise step-children, in a warm and loving household.
Or Julie who had a bitter first husband and is now happily married with a blended family of five children between them.
Or Mandy and Dan who tried for fifteen years to conceive and are now thrilled to now have a little boy.
Or Dianne and Sarah, who have been together for 22 years and wanted to share that love. They both tried to have a child, and luckily were successful and have a little chap James. It is a warm and rich loving household. Dianne is the adventurous type and takes their James on extended camping trips and treks. And Sarah is loves them both to death.
Yes, Dianne and Sarah used IVF, but so did Mandy and Dan.
James does not share Dianne’s genetics, but neither does Rachael, and they are both awesome mums.
One of the rights that married couples enjoy is the opportunity to adopt. Now if something were to happen to Sarah, Dianne does not have any rights to James. He would become a ward of the state and Dianne would have to request to have custody. This is someone who has been there changing nappies, cherishing and loving this little boy since he was conceived seven years ago. Someone whom he calls “Mum”, and yet she does not have the right to adopt him because they are unwed. And, if something were to happen to Dianne, even though she has requested otherwise, her superannuation goes to her beneficiaries which, as Sarah and James are not officially her ‘family’, may not include them.
But lets consider some ‘religious reasons’. Christians consider one of the ten commandments to be “love thy neighbour as thyself”. In order to do this well, you need to put yourself in their shoes. Consider for a moment… take yourself back to your years at school and remember at time where your friends are interested in someone of the opposite sex. How would you feel if you were simply… not. You find yourself attracted to people who are of the same sex. What is wrong with you? You didn’t choose this? You have as much choice over who you find attractive as you do over your eye colour. So, you hide your feelings. Why? Because other people say ‘it is wrong’. Then what happens as you get older? Do you live a lonely life without love, companionship and family because… why? And then, you are lucky enough to find someone who is as interested in you as you are in them. Your love flourishes. You decide to marry. But oh, that’s not allowed. The bible says it’s not right. Come on people, the bible says to ‘stone your daughter if she’s not a virgin when she marries’, but society no longer condones such behaviour. It says it’s fine to ‘sell your daughter into slavery’, but society is now of the mind that owning people is not acceptable. It says homosexuality is not allowed, but society is wiser now. The bible says to “love thy neighbour as thyself” and if you are going to follow that, you need to understand what life might be like if you were born and attracted to the same sex.
One of our lovely exchange students was concerned to ever meet a person who was homosexual because he ‘would not know what to do if they came onto him’. Shocked, I questioned “What would you do if a girl was interested in you, and you didn’t find her attractive?” To which he responded “I’d just say I wasn’t interested”. How is it any different? How many other men are nervous for the same reason?
I hope none of my children turn out to be gay, because life is hard enough to negotiate in this day and age without being put down by others who fail to see that we are lucky to find someone in this life who loves us, faults and all, and if we have that kind of loving relationship, what a beautiful place for children to be raised in and flourish! There are around 40,000 children in foster homes across this country at this moment. These are children in foster care due to serious abuse or neglect. We should be focusing our energy on helping these kids more than condemning those who have created a warm and loving home, just because they are of same sex parents.
Yes, this is about families. Yes, this is important. Think of everyone this law will help, and vote yes.
This stunning photography is by Jesse Hisco Photography.