Before I start, let’s make one thing clear. I would rather be run over a bus—a bus that was on fire—than marry my boyfriend. Don’t get me wrong: we’ve been together for a decade and I adore the bastard. But the prospect of a wedding—the stress, the cost, being photographed a million times and making out in front of relatives—just doesn’t appeal to me. The average Australian wedding costs $50,000 and if I had that kind of money, I’d rather buy, say, a round-the-world plane ticket. In fact, doing the math, I could buy 25 tickets. I’d bring my friends.
Still, none of this makes me anti-wedding. Because hot damn, I love me a good hitchin’. And it isn’t just the free alcohol. I love the pageantry of the whole thing: dressing up in suits and gowns, adjusting my boyfriend’s tie before we arrive and seeing my friends at their most beautiful. Weddings makes me feel grown up. I weep openly during the vows, and when I see the bride and groom’s families do the same thing, it triggers even more snot-nosed heaving. It is a beautiful thing.
I’m deeply puzzled as to why our gay and lesbian compadres should miss out on the joint horrors and ecstasy of this institution. God knows, if there’s any one segment of society who knows how to throw a shit-hot party, it’s the homos. And yet, we’re excluded from all this for reasons that—in Australia at least—are entirely baffling.
It’s an old argument, but gays pay their taxes like everyone else. As of 2009, same sex partners have been considered the same as opposite-sex partners with taxes and finances, and our partners’ incomes are taken into account to calculate Centrelink benefits—often to the couple’s financial detriment. Equality always comes at a price. But it seems unfair to pay that price without actually achieving equality.
Things are changing though. In Australia, same sex marriage is inevitable. 80 percent of young Australians between 18 and 24 want to see it happen. (Old people eventually die.) 62 to 70 percent of all Australians want it, and Labor’s vote would swing five percent in its favour if it decided to adopt it as federal policy. And it shouldn’t be a religious issue when 53 percent of Australian Christians support the move too.
With those figures, what shits me most about the “gay marriage debate” is that a debate even exists. To the naysayers, I say hold off on your faux-concern for the children. If it’s kids you really care about, you’d have read the American studies published in Time that suggests kids raised by lesbians are actually more well-adjusted than their peers. The other advantage of kids being raised in same-sex households? They’re far less likely to become homophobic bigots like you.
Worried that same-sex marriage will affect straight marriage? Unless your daughters are roaringly hungry for tang, you don’t have anything to worry about, Barnaby! Wish gays were more polite in our demands? Try being an elderly lesbian couple, told your relationship is inferior and you try being polite, Miranda! (Also, fuck you.)
Let’s make this happen, because—at the very least—gay and lesbian Australians are tired. We are tired of marching. We’re tired of writing stories like this. We don’t want to protest any more, because no protest should exist when we’ve got the majority of Australians backing us. We don’t want to sign any more petitions, because they’ve been fucking signed already. Let’s pass this bitch and move on.
And I swear to god, if this goes on for any longer, a gay strike is right around the corner. Every gay florist, gay dress designer and gay caterer (i.e. every florist, dress designer and caterer) will shut their doors on you. The only wedding services left will be the heterosexual ones, like that ghastly wedding singer who performs Bon Jovi ballads to a backing tape. And no one—gay or straight—deserves a wedding like that.