Why I voted YES for Marriage Equality
This week I had the had the opportunity to cast my vote in the Marriage Equality Postal Plebiscite. A very simple yes or no format asking whether the Australian Government should alter the Marriage Act to enable same sex couples to be able to get married. This divisive decision is historic and will irrevocably alter our communities, but I firmly believe that it will do so for the better. Marriage Equality is not about the corrosion of any sense of western morality nor is it about destroying concepts relating to family or community. It is about strengthening our communities through the acceptance of love. We are fortunate enough to live in regional New South Wales in an area that prides itself on the strength of community. The strength of our community is galvanised by the love we all share for it, this is seen countlessly in the pride we have in our community organisations, schools and sporting clubs. Love is the thread that weaves the diverse tapestry of different people together. This sense of community defines us and differs us from our metropolitan cousins.
We are proud to live in communities that foster harmonious inclusion and that strive to grow together.
Unfortunately this is not the reality as our utopic dream is broken . It ignores the fact that some members of our community are not equal. Imagine a regional community where all persons are Australian Citizens, paying the same taxes and using the same Government services but some in the community were not awarded the same inalienable rights of citizens. This sounds abhorrent and frankly un-Australian, but to very real members of our community this is the reality. Now consider living in a regional community and depriving your doctor, vet, baker or butcher the same rights of citizen as you simply because of their genetic makeup. These might be the very same people you interact with socially or see to be great community leaders. Should they be deprived of the same rights as you? The answer for is me is No. We are all Australians and we ALL contribute in our own ways to our communities. Communities are built around finding similarities and not searching for differences. Marriage Equality is about giving equal rights to ALL Australians. By enfranchising same sex couples the right to marry we acknowledge their love as equal, as well as recognise the role they play within our community. It is not so long ago that other members within our society were denied the rights of citizens and I directly appeal to the women of our community, Indigenous Australians, migrant Australians and Catholics to remember there once was a time also did not share the same rights as other Australian citizens. Marriage Equality is a celebration of love and the recognition that, as Australians too, we are all equal.
Edward Hoddle, Gunnedah
Police Remembrance Day
This Friday 29 September I encourage the community to pause and reflect on the sacrifice of our fallen NSW Police officers for National Police Remembrance Day.
Special ceremonies will be held across the country to honour, respect and remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our community.
Our police officers go to work day in and day out not knowing what they will confront in the line of duty, or whether they will return home safely at the end of their shift.
On this day it is important that we acknowledge those officers who have lost their lives as a result of their policing career. But we must also pay our respects to our local men and women in blue who work tirelessly to keep us safe from harm every day.
We should never take the contribution of our police for granted. If you see an officer out on the beat, please stop them and thank them for the work they do. On National Police Remembrance Day, let us all stand with the entire police family to honour those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of community safety.
Kevin Anderson, Tamworth MP