Today's blog isn't going to be about writing. Or is it? Tathagata Buddha said, 'with our thoughts, we make the world'. The writer's task, au fond, is to create worlds with our words, and in the process, we may sometimes cause a small shift in this world we inhabit. It has been said, often enough that one almost cringes when hearing it yet again, that the pen is mightier than the sword, and this is true in the sense that it is in the written word that nearly all thinking is communicated. All matters, therefore, are the proper business of the writer.
This being the case, today I am going to talk about Marriage Equality.
In 1955 Mrs Rosa Parks, 'tired of giving in', declined to yield her seat to a 'white' passenger. Ever since, we've been on the road towards civilisation. The road has at times been bumpy, and there may have been switchbacks and setbacks, but overall the trend has been upwards, although at a very slow pace. Nowadays, although racism is still very much a thing, it's at least recognised, and most people accept that it is a problem, and it's visible. There has been progress in other areas, too. The gay people are pretty well all out of the closet, at least if they want to be, which is a thing we could never have dreamed of when I was a girl. And now, they are asking for their rights; specifically, the right to marry the people of their choice, a right so basic that it is never even questioned.
What, some of you may ask, has this to do with me? Am I gay? Well that's as may be. Those of you who know me will be able to answer that, but I refuse to accept that my own sexuality has any bearing at all on the position I will take with regard to marriage equality. For me, the question is not one of can this person marry that person, but of whether we are going to have a just society, in which every citizen has the same rights as every other citizen, and there are not 'second-class seats'. Once the struggle of one's early years is past, when we know we will never starve, when we are assured of our basic needs, we may see that a better world to leave one's children is one of the highest goals to which we can aspire, and the question of whether one personally benefits in the sense of having more money because of a tax change must take second place for any thinking person.
In a sense, we are all that gay man who may not have his marriage recognised in our country. No man is an island, says Donne, and goes on to add 'every man's death diminishes me'. The fundamental truth of these words is something that few would contest, and today's shameful 'debate' ought to be seen in their light, and in that of the natural inference that every man's suffering also diminishes us.
As well as the victims of an unjust law, though, we must also identify with the perpetrators. We are all shamed by a government that discriminates against this one and that one, that is corrupt, that condemns children to life in torture camps, and so on. We are all personally shamed when people must sleep in shop doorways and beg for their food. We are all the problem, because our government is an elected government, and there is no chanting the childish mantra of 'not my president', as one sees Americans doing. Because we let them do it.
That is why I voted YES in the questionnaire, and why every thinking, honest Australian ought to do the same.
|This short story is my dystopic vision|
of where our current government wants to lead us.
It's free at the moment. Get your copy HERE