WTF is a Plebiscite? Why You Need to Vote.
2016 was a wild ride world over. Amongst other things, we had to wrap our heads around the fact that Trump was now the President of the USA and therefore the ‘leader of the free world’ prompting marches and riots in response. The marches, while moving, made us think that if every person marching had actually participated in the vote there would be no need for marches and riots and fear, they would have changed the outcome.
Which is kind of how we are feeling right now.
Recently the Australian government announced that it would hold a voluntary postal plebiscite to gauge public opinion on whether or not it should amend the Marriage Act 1961 (or, more specifically the Marriage Amendment Act 2004) which was amended (without a plebiscite) to include the term “Marriage means the union of a man and a woman”.
Some conservative and religious groups are producing propaganda in support of a no vote however it is important to understand Australia’s constitution, unlike others in the world, is founded on a separation of church and state. This means that religious agenda should not have any bearing on enacting any Australian legislation.
So back to the voluntary postal plebiscite.
No, it’s not legally binding.
No, no matter what the popular vote is.
Yes, the government still has to vote on it.
Yes, 14 days to change your electoral enrolment details is a bit ridiculous.
Yes, it is most likely a waste of time and money.
But we don’t want to be like those women marching in tears after Trump was elected.
This is our opportunity to stand up and do something. No matter how hard they are trying to make it and how apathetic they think people are. There are moments that come up in history when society needs to take a stand to push for a culture change and a recognition of a long overdue right and this is one of them.
LGBT people have endured decades, if not centuries of feeling ashamed of and ostracised because of who they loved. It’s time to stand up for the next generation of young people to show them that they are not less than anyone because of their sexual orientation and have the same rights, basic human rights, as everyone else.
This is an opportunity for us to show the Government, our elected representatives, that we are sick of the inequality and inherent discrimination. Our voting in the plebiscite won’t change the law but it will create a pressure that will be impossible to ignore.
Make sure your details are up to date here and make your voice heard, because everyone has a right to see if they can beat Kim K's 72 day marriage.
(Title Image via Tiffany&Co)