October 19, 2017

DAVIE VILLAGE POST Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada LGBTQ2+ Hub
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The Big Australian Vote for Marriage Rights Fiasco

Divisive and Hurtful

What were legislators in Australia thinking when they decided a vote by mail ballot would be a good idea when it comes to marriage equality?

The idea that a voluntary vote/survey will determine if a person has equal rights compared to other citizens, is beyond unfair, it’s ridiculous. Politicians in Australia have opened up a can of worms that will  be hard to fix and leave those vulnerable and treated unfairly under the law in even a more precarious situation.

There has been a huge surge in misleading information, says Matt Baume, a Seattle based writer. It’s gotten so bad that legislators are scrambling to pass laws against hate speech. There is an increase in calls to crisis lines, and support for marriage equality is dropping.

Two weeks ago, support for marriage equality was around 64%, it has dropped to 58%.

The mail out started to be distributed on September 12, 2107, and Australians are encouraged to return the vote/survey by the end of October, 2017.

Misinformation Campaigns

Ted Cruz, American politician, is associated with a firm that is bombarding Australians with anti-gay robot-calls.

The mail out is worded against equality, and appears to steer people towards a no vote. Voting on civil rights is risky and could end up denying rights to groups and/or individuals.

The vote/survey is being conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics via post. That is the same agency that conducts the census. Why not the Electoral Commission, and why the Statistics department?

Ben & Jerry’s: info-graphic

Won’t Really Count, Not Official

The vote/survey is not an official vote and is non-binding. The Australian Government is not legally required to make same sex marriage legal if the vote is yes. The same thing applies to a no vote, it is not a guarantee, and is non-binding. The government may propose a private members bill to vote on the matter.

The Australian Government should have looked closely to what Canada did in regards to marriage equality. There was no mail/vote/survey, and it became a determination by the Supreme Court of Canada. The Supreme Court of Canada determined that LGBTQ people have the same rights as anyone else. Nothing more to say, it was plain as day. Canada has enjoyed marriage equality for more than a decade.

It’s all about EQUALITY, not other people personal opinions. Imagine bigots having any say on another persons civil rights. This was a bad idea to start with, and it has caused a lot of harm, especially the increase in hate crimes towards LGBTQ people. Imagine treating any Australian like this?

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is urging all Australians to vote yes. Australian MPs have pledged to “respect” the result of the vote/survey, but have not said whether that means they would recognize the result or instead back the result from their electorate.

Fiasco, this approach is a complete failure and denigrates and humiliates LGBTQ people.

Dahl & Connors

Post source : ABC Austrailia, lifehacker.com, The Guardian, Matt Baume

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