My local MP, Anna Burke is surveying Chisholm residents on our views on marriage equality for same-sex couples. I have written her the following letter in support of marriage equality:
Thank you for surveying the Chisholm electorate for our views on gay marriage.
I am writing to express my strong support for same-sex marriage equality. I believe that the right to marry is a fundamental human and civil right, and that civil marriage gives important legal protections and responsibilities to couples.
Marriage strengthens the bonds between couples and families. It is a celebration and recognition of the love and commitment between two people, and the responsibilities that they have undertaken to care for each other for the rest of their lives. People of different cultures, traditions and beliefs have their marriages recognised by the state because of the benefits it brings not only to married couples and their families, but also our whole community, and I believe that denying civil marriage to some couples, solely on the basis of their gender, is discriminatory and wrong.
It also leads to further discrimination against same-sex attracted people, as it sends a message that same-sex attracted people and relationships are intrinsically inferior, and not deserving of the same dignity and respect afforded to heterosexual people.
Extending human and civil rights to people currently denied them does not diminish the existing rights of others, and in this case, removing legal discrimination and granting equal civil marriage rights to same-sex couples will help combat the extremely psychologically (and in many cases, physically) harmful homophobia experienced by gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex people.
Australian Marriage Equality has a lot of great information on marriage equality, that goes into a lot more detail on this issue than is possible in a letter. Their site is well worth checking out.