5 reasons why… we should all Vote YES! for Marriage Equality
1. Equality is union business:
Unions in Australia have been fighting for entitlements for same sex partners in industrial agreements since 1976, supported the inclusion of homosexuality as a grounds under anti-discrimination laws, pushed for repeal of state anti-homosexual laws, and supported the recognition of same sex “interdependent relationships” in Australian immigration regulations in 1985. Current union support for marriage equality in Australia is a continuation of this decades-old tradition. Put simply – marriage equality is union business because the core value of the union movement is equality for all.
2. We must address all forms of inequality:
Inequality cannot be seriously addressed unless we tackle it in all its social, legal and economic forms. Discrimination creates structural inequality. Along with women and other minorities, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people can face exclusion from health services, education, housing and jobs, and in many countries LGBTI people are relegated to the poorer margins of society.
3. Repression and discrimination are not cool:
LGBTI people still face repression and death in some countries in the world today. In Australia, you will not be executed by the government for loving someone of the same sex, although of course discrimination continues as does bullying, violence, and homicide. Australian laws that ban same-sex couples from getting married legitimate a culture and practice of discrimination.
4. We are internationalists who support freedom movements. This is one of them!
As part of the union movement, we are internationalists, supporting social justice movements in other countries, including freedom movements of sexual and gender identity minorities. Also important is recognising in Australian policy and services the needs of asylum seekers who face persecution or death because of their sexuality or gender identity.
5. IT’S TIME!
Same sex marriage has overwhelming popular support. Australia lags behind countries in Africa, Europe, Asia, North and South America. Australian politicians need to get on with it!