Glen Iris, Australia
Today I’m going to talk about love, tolerance and acceptance. You may be confused as to why I’m talking about this.
Picture the scene.
You’re invited to a friend’s houseparty. So, you go and have a couple of drinks. You see your friends, and you talk to them. You have a good time, the conversation is flowing smoothly, the people are on your level, the night is just right. Then.. you spot someone and you feel compelled to smile at them. They smile back at you. You acknowledge the smile and continue talking to your friends. You try to listen to them – you see their lips moving and hands flapping about, but nothing is registering in your mind. Why? Because you’re still thinking about that person. You feel butterflies flying around in your stomach, your pulse quickens and your tongue feels dry, just like the Sahara desert. ****. What is this? You turn around to look at them and you see that they’re already looking at you. You quickly turn back and feel embarrassed that they caught you looking, but you feel slightly glad that they were already looking at you first though, and a small smirk appears on your face.
“Hello? Earth to (insert name here)..? Are you listening? The lights are on, but nobody’s home.”
Your friends notice that you’re paying no attention.
“Ah, sorry. I guess my mind was elsewhere.”
“Pfft.. I can see that. Go and talk to them. Do it.”
Your friends encourage you. You take a huge gulp of your Vodka and lemonade and slam it down on the table. The alcohol goes to your head a little bit, and the intoxication gives you the false courage you need. You smoothly turn around and swagger your way over to them.
You trip over and fall flat on your face, directly at their feet.
“Oh ****, that must have hurt. Are you alright?”
They ask if you’re ok and help you up. You’re finally face to face and you try to respond to their question. You want to say something smooth like..
“Do you have a plaster? Because I just scraped my knee falling for you.”
But you can’t respond because your heart is in your mouth, your blood rushes to your face and you’re dyslexic in the head.
“Ow. I fell.”
Well done. Real smooth.
But it works. They laugh.
“A person of many words, aren’t you? Come on, lets get you a drink, and I’ll have a look at your knee.”
You talk all night. You feel so comfortable, so you tell them about what a retard you are. You tell them about the time when you were 6, and rode your bike into a metal portable goal and split your lips open. You tell them about the time you played strip poker at school. You also tell them about how you felt when your friend died. They tell you about how they broke into the staffroom and drank the teachers bourbon, they tell you about the time they broke their ribs playing softball, and they trust you enough to tell you how they felt when they found out their mum had cancer. The bond is made, the trust is there. The attraction is undeniable, you want to kiss them but the moment isn’t right. It’s late – it’s 3am, there are people shouting, jostling and drinks are being spilt all over the floor, much to your friend’s disgust. So, you ask for their number, give them a kiss on the cheek and leave, promising to set up a date.
You get home, and you have an argument in your head about whether or not you should text them now, or play it cool?
“Hey you.. it’s (insert name here).. I’m home. Did you get home ok?”
You wait, and 30 seconds later, you get a reply.
“What took you so long to text?”
A smile appears on your face, and you reply.
You have your first date. You take them out on a boat, you bring a blanket, a flask of hot chocolate, marshmallows and Milky Bar buttons (because you remember them saying they loved it) and… you take out a jar and put a rose in it and you set sail. You talk about everything – your hopes, your dreams and your aims.. you also talk about the past and the pain you’ve both been through. The moment is right – you kiss, and it’s everything you imagined it to be.
The weeks goes by so fast. Dates after dates, kisses after kisses..
The months goes by so fast. Dates after dates, sex after sex.. romantic sex, quick sex, angry sex, make up sex.. all kinds of sex.
One night.. they utter the words, “I love you.” and gone is the awkward person you were that very first night you both met. You know just what to say this time. “I love you too.”
Everything is just right.
You move in together. You go to IKEA, and you jump on the beds, they pretend to take a shower, you potter around in the kitchen, and both pretend to take a bath in the bathtub and you kiss, much to the children’s amusement.
“Mummy. Look at them! They’re kissing in the bath!”
“Don’t look. They’re just being silly. Come on, now.”
She scolds the children, gives you a dirty look and walks away.
“Boy.. some people need to lighten up.”
Slowly, but surely, the house you moved into becomes a home.
You know the time is right.
You take them to the first place you had your date. You get into the boat, and you sail away again.
“I love my life with you. I love how we go out to work and rush back home, just so we can see each other. I love how we hold hands and go to parties that we end up ditching to drink wine out of the bottle in the bathtub. I love how we go to the cinema and end up kissing in the back row like children. I love how we slow dance in the bedroom with an unmade bed and candles on the fireplace. I love it. I want to do it with you forever. Marry me.”
And just like that, with one word, your world is shattered.
“It’s illegal. We can’t marry. The government won’t let us.”
Yes, I know that the romantic story was slightly random. But I wanted you to get sucked into it, to experience love in its purest form. Notice how I never once mentioned whether or not they were female or male? I did that because I wanted you to forget about gender for a while, and just appreciate the story for what it was, an amazing story about two people falling in love with each other.
Last week, the Australian government overturned the ACT (Australian Capital Territory) legislation that was passed on December 7th, which had allowed gay couples to marry inside the ACT, regardless of which state they live in. They declared it invalid because it created confusion with federal legislation that defined marriage as a union between only a man and a woman.
Around 27 couples had tied the knot since December 7th. Their marriages are now null and void.
This makes me angry. How dare you tell us who we can or can’t marry. Love is love. Full stop.
People say it’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. Really? If you want to get all biblical, bring it on.
In Deuteronomy, a marriage is only valid if the woman is a virgin, and she should be executed if she is not. Anyone who commits adultery should be stoned to death. In Mark, divorce is prohibited.
In Leviticus 18:6 –
“You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female, it is an abomination.”
A similar verse occurs in Leviticus 20:13 –
“A man who sleeps with another man is an abomination and should be executed.”
Leviticus is a holiness code that was written 3,000 years ago. It also includes prohibitions against round haircuts, tattoos, working on the Sabbath, wearing garments of mixed fabrics and even playing with the skin of a pig – there goes football.
Some think gay marriage will threaten the institution of marriage.
Umm.. Britney Spears got married and annulled in less than 55 hours. Kim Kardashian’s marriage lasted 72 days.
Ivan Hinton and Chris Teoh, the first couple to marry, have been together for 11 years.
Where’s the justice in that?
where tolerance and acceptance comes in. You are not born homophobic – you are taught. Fair enough, we are all free to feel or believe what we want. But for me, I believe in morality, which is doing right, regardless of what I’m told – instead of doing what you’re told, regardless of what is right.
Everyone is entitled to have their The Notebook story.
Wake up Australia, we’re human beings too.