Think of friends and fam­ily

Euroa Gazette - - NEWS -

THANK you Bren­dan Pater­son for your re­cent let­ter ( The Euroa Gazette, Au­gust 16) sup­port­ing same-sex mar­riage and the YES vote in the postal opin­ion poll.

My sin­cere ap­pre­ci­a­tion also goes to Strath­bo­gie Shire Coun­cil who, when led by mayor Deb Swan back in Oc­to­ber 2015, re­solved to sup­port a lo­cal gov­ern­ment mo­tion to the Mu­nic­i­pal As­so­ci­a­tion of Vic­to­ria State Coun­cil to pub­licly sup­port mar­riage equal­ity in Aus­tralia.

Thirty years ago, my Catholic farm­ing par­ents would never have con­sid­ered sup­port­ing a change to the law in this coun­try to al­low same-sex cou­ples to marry.

They have now seen four of their five chil­dren marry their re­spec­tive life part­ners.

Only I re­main un­mar­ried, de­spite hav­ing a won­der­ful life part­ner who I in­tend to make an hon­est man of in the near fu­ture.

Up un­til the time my par­ents be­came aware of my sex­u­al­ity, their per­spec­tive on same-sex re­la­tion­ships was based on ig­no­rance and fear, pri­mar­ily driven by re­li­gious doc­trine.

I am very grate­ful that my par­ents have over the years, been able to de­velop an in­formed per­spec­tive based on knowl­edge, and that they now sup­port the right for all of their chil­dren to be able to marry.

Most Aus­tralians will now re­alise that mar­riage equal­ity in Aus­tralia is in­evitable.

It is un­for­tu­nate that so much time and tax­pay­ers money is be­ing wasted in get­ting to that point.

Some will have al­ready de­cided whether and how you are go­ing to pro­pose to vote.

Thank you, all of you who feel strong enough about this is­sue and in­tend to vote, no mat­ter which way you are vot­ing.

I would like to ap­peal, how­ever, to those of you who might not be go­ing to bother.

Please think of your fam­i­lies and those you love, your chil­dren and grand­chil­dren, some of whom may find them­selves same-sex at­tracted in years to come, or may al­ready be aware but still clos­eted and in fear about com­ing out to your fam­ily.

Mar­riage equal­ity may mean lit­tle to you, but please don’t just throw the postal vote form in the rub­bish.

You may not be aware of it, but there is more than likely some­one you love in your fam­ily or re­spect in your cir­cle of friends who is not het­ero­sex­ual and would greatly ap­pre­ci­ate your sup­port for their right to sim­ply be able to marry the per­son they love. Dean Shawcross, Euroa

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