Bill calls for equal­ity for all

The Tatura Guardian - - Community - By Sion­nie Kelly Peo­ple will start re­ceiv­ing the mar­riage equal­ity postal sur­vey from Septem­ber 12 and vot­ers are en­cour­aged to post their forms back by Oc­to­ber 27. Re­sults are to be re­leased on Novem­ber 15. To sign the open let­ter, phone Damien Stevens

Tatura’s Bill Heath, 54, has created an open let­ter urg­ing the com­mu­nity to show their sup­port for mar­riage equal­ity.

Mr Heath said he had not al­ways been a sup­porter of mar­riage equal­ity, but as an adult had be­come more ac­cept­ing and open minded of other peo­ple.

‘‘I grew up with a very nar­row­minded view of what peo­ple were meant to be like,’’ he said.

‘‘You were meant to be at ev­ery­thing and do ev­ery­thing and I sup­pose I have come to just ap­pre­ci­ate that there’s a diver­sity of peo­ple and that’s a good thing, we’re not all meant to be the same, and that’s the way life is and it’s the way life has evolved.’’

The open let­ter states that all cou­ples should have the right to marry, re­gard­less of gen­der, and urges peo­ple to be mind­ful of what sort of im­pact their con­ver­sa­tions re­gard­ing mar­riage equal­ity could have on oth­ers emo­tion­ally.

The open let­ter, created with sup­port from Greater Shep­par­ton’s LGBTIQ com­mu­nity, has so far col­lected more than 200 sig­na­tures.

‘‘I think it’s the right thing to do, to al­low peo­ple to get married, so I wanted to show my sup­port for that and give an op­por­tu­nity for other peo­ple to in­di­cate their sup­port,’’ Mr Heath said.

‘‘It’s im­por­tant that peo­ple come to be them­selves and part of them com­ing to be them­selves and ac­cept­ing them­selves is to be ac­cepted by oth­ers.’’

Mr Heath does not iden­tify as LGBTIQ and has no fam­ily mem­bers who do, but said this should not be a fac­tor in show­ing sup­port for mar­riage equal­ity or any other so­cial is­sue.

‘‘I think we need to be sup­port­ive and maybe openly sup­port­ive of things that aren’t nec­es­sar­ily just af­fect­ing us.’’

Aim­ing for equal­ity (right): Bill Heath is en­cour­ag­ing those who sup­port mar­riage equal­ity to sign an open let­ter he cre­ated.

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