Dear Ms Gillard,
I need you to do something for me, please. Well, it’s really not just for me, it’s for all of Australia, and indeed the world.
We need you to legalise gay marriage in Australia.
I’m not a gay woman. But that doesn’t matter.
You’re still cheating me out of something that’s very important to me – attending the wedding of one of my best friends.
You see, he’s not allowed to get married. It’s illegal for him to do so.
No matter that he’s in love. That he owns a house with his partner. That they have been a part of each other’s lives for just as long as my own husband and I have been.
No matter that they care about each other’s families and that they are just as ‘married’ to each other as any heterosexual couple I know – perhaps even moreso than some.
Yes, they are married in every sense of the word, except one. The important one.
It’s incredible to me that I even have to write this letter to you.
I know for a fact I’m not the only one writing to you this week. Calls have gone out all over the internet for others to do the same. It’s on everyone’s mind.
New York, Western Australia… they’ve started the ball rolling and we’re determined to finish it. There is true momentum behind the movement for equality not and we want to see this blatant discrimination abolished from our society.
There can be no half measures here. Full equality is the only acceptable solution.
If we call it anything but ‘marriage’ then we have to rewrite years of laws.
The bond of marriage carries a host of rights with it – next of kin and power of attorney in a crisis are particularly powerful ones that fall under only the word ‘marriage’.
It must be all, or it might as well be nothing.
Gay men and women need to be able to confidently and legally say: ‘That’s my wife’ or ‘That’s my husband’. And they deserve the right to be able to do that, should they choose to.
Ms Gillard, you don’t need me to rebut every argument that you continue to throw down against same sex marriage. Plenty of others before me have done a wonderful job of that.
You strike me as a progressive and thoroughly modern woman, which makes it seem even more inauthentic when you spout the same, senseless line – I suspect you actually don’t believe it yourself.
You leave us wondering why you remain so stubborn about it when there are no good reasons left.
Without equality, you, as a woman, wouldn’t hold the position you hold right now. And I, as a woman, would never have been able to even vote in the last election.
It’s only fairness that we’re seeking from you. Surely you can see that.
Your own party is almost unanimously in favour – five of our states have passed their own motions supporting equality.
The opinion polls are showing that a majority of Australians support same sex marriage. Three quarters of us think it is inevitable that it will be legalised.
The only question is when.
With that in mind, be decisive, Ms Gillard. If you do nothing else as our first female Prime Minister, do this.
In December, you will have a huge chance to make a difference.
I urge you, along with the majority of Australians: Listen to your publics. Listen to your party. Legalise same-sex marriage.
Leave a legacy we can all be proud of and be the Prime Minister who wouldn’t stand for inequality and discrimination in our country. It’s time.