Australia Says “I Do” to Marriage Equality

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Courtesy of CNN

“What does love mean if we would deny it to others?” 
― DaShanne Stokes

Love is what keeps the world growing, glowing, and flourishing. It keeps the world turning to better and more peaceful times. The world could always use more love. And certainly, no one should be denied their way into love, into seeking love. That’s why, a few weeks ago, I was ecstatic when I learned that same-sex marriage was legalized in Australia. 61.6% of the 2.7 million Australians had voted supporting the movement. A change had been set into motion in the better interest of its citizens.

The decision prompted jubilant scenes. Joy had begun to take form, be it through the crowd of spectators singing, “I Am Australian” in the public gallery, or a marriage proposal by Parliament member Tim Wilson to his long-term partner Ryan Bolger, shortly after the same-sex marriage bill was introduced to the Lower House. And, I felt, the best part of this news was that more people could now express their love in the same way. Without this law put in place, they would have fallen out of love, making the world utterly heartbroken. That would’ve been our loss, our failure to recognize love.

With 22 unsuccessful attempts to legalize same-sex marriage since 2004, Australian Parliament’s vote is a bright light of hope, a step forward in the right direction. Marriage equality has become a legal right in the country. This historic event has also shown that the LGBTQ+ community is now beginning to gain more traction, as had been much needed. This event could possibly influence other countries in their decisions about marriage equality, hopefully for the better. And at last, the community would be accepted for what it is: A space where a variety of people can express themselves without being judged. Although this true acceptance has not been reached yet, but Australia’s marriage equality vote is a land-mark on the path to get there.

If you want to help the LGBTQ+ community gain acceptance, support organizations like Lambda Legal, the Human Rights Campaign, and PFLAG (Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians And Gays). There is nothing more beautiful, happier, fuller than a “yes” said at the right time. There is nothing more powerful and liberating, to live and love, without having to live in fear. The real triumph of democracy would only be when all its citizens can bear the fruits of equality, and attain the affirmation of dignity without having to be judged for who they want to be.

-Elise Hsu