Out Loud: Relationship Value
Here we are at the December issue of Queensland Pride and naturally for many of us our first thoughts regarding December are “here comes the silly season” with all its fun, frivolity, stress, frantic pace and the occasional party faux pas – I am sure I am not the only one who has personally experienced that Christmas party humiliation!
Actually, the silly season seems to start earlier and earlier each year; we have been knee-deep in tinsel and carols now for a number of weeks. The silly season this year nevertheless marks some particularly serious debates, decisions and outcomes for the LGBTI community across Australia and Queensland.
The third and fourth of December heralds the Labor Party's national conference where it is expected there will be strong representation from both sides of the marriage equality debate. The representation and strength of debate at this conference will indicate whether the supporters of marriage equality have managed to mobilize themselves strongly enough to prove a worthy opponent to the machine that is the uber conservative camp, with their numbers, influence, money, and of course the spreading of fear and lies. I hope this is the case. Marriage equality on the national stage deserves a strong argument of support to counteract the opposition. If you support marriage equality, whether you are gay, straight or anywhere along that broad spectrum, have you done something to have your voice heard, big or small? If not, find your way to make a difference – silence cannot be heard.
Queenslanders, have you contacted your MP to inform them of your support for the legal recognition of same-sex relationships? A Queensland civil union bill is currently being considered and a conscience vote is expected before parliament finishes in early December. The passing of this bill will enable same-sex partnerships to register their relationships legally. Is this all about equality and a step closer in that direction? In part I'd say yes, however this presents a more fundamental and important legal change. This would allow those of us who are Queensland residents to register our relationships and have irrefutable evidence of our relationship status and therefore additional legal protection not only for ourselves but for our children.
So as we rapidly embark on the silly season of 2011 let your voice be heard, talk to your friends and your family about the truly important considerations for you as a person. Each of us has different priorities when it comes to what we do and don't want to see for ourselves individually and our community as a whole. Know these for yourself and share them so that greater knowledge can spread, abolishing inequality and homophobia.
Be proud of what has been achieved throughout the past year, look forward to the mystery of the year ahead and all the while enjoy the company of those people that are important to you over this December. Stay safe!