Australia, Kylie and the case for equality

First published: Facebook, February 2017

It’s three monumental years since I set foot in Australia. There are many things I love about this sunburned country: the climate, the standard of living, the matey egalitarian society (still quite a novel concept for a Brit), the beaches and the flora and fauna to name just a few. Even the relative safety and cleanliness of the streets. But being English I’m actually posting to tell you about two Aussie things I DON’T like. Neither will be a surprise.

Firstly, the fact that Aus still doesn’t have equal marriage in 2017 is a prehistoric travesty. Hell, it’s 15 years since I lived in The Netherlands, where gay marriages had already been law for a year. This beautiful country has slipped so far behind the rest of the civilised world it’s becoming a laughingstock. For example, since the Labor government of the 1990s, same-sex foreign partners of Australian citizens have been able to receive residency permits in Australia known as “interdependency visas” but even though equal marriage has been legalised in 25 countries, two Aussies of the same sex still can’t have their vows recognised. It’s a disgraceful anomaly that can be traced back to 2004, when same-sex couples were prevented from marrying by amendments to the federal Marriage Act (1961) by the homophobic Howard Government, the so-called ‘Liberals’.

Slightly less important, but if you know me at all you’ll already know how much I dislike the gays fawning and simpering over Kylie Minogue, or Vylie, the singing budgie as I affectionately call her. She can’t sing, she can’t dance, but for some strange reason, she’s gone a long way. I don’t know much about her as a person and I’m quite happy about that. However, today’s news that she’s split from her fiancé did remind me of one thing. Joshua Sasse announced last year that even though they were engaged the couple had decided not to marry until EVERYONE in her home country has the right to do so.

“We are not comfortable getting married until this law is passed in Australia,” he said. “I simply can’t fathom on any level, whether it’s moral or religious or anything, that I have the right to get married and to marry the person that I love and that somebody else doesn’t because of their sexual orientation.” Well way to go Kylie! Their union may not have lasted but the utmost respect to both of them for their selfless and socially aware actions. This announcement was probably the greatest thing any Minogue has ever put their name to. And it sounds like other happy heteros are following their lead. So the moral of this post is this: if you’re engaged or planning to get engaged to your opposite sex partner I ask you to use that social conscience we know you have, and ask yourself why do you need to get married at this particular time? Can it wait until your brothers and sisters are afforded the same basic human right? You bet it can.