Western Suburbs Weekly - - Westernopinion -

MAR­RIAGE equal­ity will not sud­denly make it safe for my friend and her girl­friend to hold hands walk­ing down the street. It won’t stop par­ents kick­ing their teenage son out of home just for lik­ing boys. It won’t stop co-work­ers from re­fus­ing to ac­knowl­edge a col­league’s gen­der tran­si­tion. Le­gal­is­ing same-sex mar­riage won’t make much dif­fer­ence in the day-to-day re­al­ity of some of the most vul­ner­a­ble and marginalised peo­ple in Aus­tralia – but it is a good place to start. When (not if) we le­galise same-sex mar­riage, Aus­tralia can fi­nally fo­cus on cam­paigns and re­forms around is­sues such as dis­turbingly high rates of queer home­less­ness, gaps in trans­gen­der healthcare and lack of ac­ces­si­bil­ity in chang­ing ID forms. De-facto leg­is­la­tion has al­ready given same-sex cou­ples many of the same rights as their het­ero­sex­ual coun­ter­parts. That said, the first same-sex cou­ple legally to marry will mark a huge sym­bolic mile­stone in de­mon­strat­ing our Gov­ern­ment’s will­ing­ness to treat all LGBTIQ peo­ple re­spect­fully and equally. And I for one can­not wait for that day.

Rosanna Can­dler - Re­porter

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