A good day for , with the “yes” vote on marriage equality coming within four percentage points of doubling the “no” vote?
No, sports fans, a great day!
And amid all the tears of joy, all the fireworks, all the wildly waving rainbow flags and general mood of euphoria, let the record show that n sport has earned the right to take a small bow on that very stage, with the n LGBTIQ elders who deserve most of the credit.
We are looking at you, Ian Roberts – still the only front-line n footballer to come out, as you did two decades ago, and who has done so much since, to move the cause of equal rights forward.
We salute you, Ian Thorpe, the most popular sportsperson in the country who – admittedly to gasps of complete non-surprise from coast to coast – came out three years ago and in recent times has been a very public face of the “yes” campaign.
Good on you, David Pocock, who famously said you would not get married to your beloved Emma, until same-sex couples could also, and have been very vocal in your support of same-sex marriage since. (Now marry her, David, and you have the immediate qualifications of being vice president of the club I am president of: n Men Punching Well Above Their Weight Club.)
Good luck to you, AFL star Erin Phillips, inaugural winner of the AFL Womens comp best and fairest award, who married Tracy in America a couple of years ago, and has twins with her. Families of open and successful diversity precisely like yours have been a beacon to many ns, and they voted “yes” because of it.
Much of salutes you, tennis star, Casey Dellacqua, who also has a family with your partner Amanda, and was one of the first to call out Margaret Court and say she would be damned if she would hear the Perth pastor and one-time grand slam champion denigrate all that she and her fine family stood for any more. She spoke out. She said we need change. And now we have it.
Good on you, Todd Greenberg, James Sutherland, Bill Pulver and Gil McLachlan, the leaders of the biggest sporting organisations who placed the weight of your entire sports behind support of equality, diversity and non-discrimination.
Yes, you took a bit of flak at the time, got your angry letters, your outraged stake-holders, your loud and angry commentators saying you should stay the hell out of it – and here’s a special cheerio to you, Sam Newman – but look at you now. You have all placed your sports on the right side of history and it will be part of your legacy long after you’ve gone.
For some time in the next few months, hopefully before Christmas, the actual legislation will pass and after more explosions of joy and more fireworks, you know what will happen then?
Just as happened in all other nations that have embraced marriage equality, all the scare stories the dinosaurs have banged on about, all the “slippery slope” arguments, all the ads to the effect that your kids will now be force-fed homosexual propaganda … will all come to nothing. Life will go on, it will be just that one large chunk of the n population won’t have institutionalised discrimination lined up against them. And then, even a large chunk of those who voted “no”, will realise they’ve been had, that it was all nonsense, and they too will settle down, leaving only the absolute hardline preachers and pollies to bang on about it. But no one will be listening.
Which brings us finally to you, Margaret Court, who on your side did so much more than most to demonise gay ns, to say they are possessed by the devil, buttressing your arguments with religious mumbo-jumbo. You now have your answer, Mrs Court.
That line of thinking no longer runs the show. Liberal, secular democracy does.
Teens troubled by questions of their sexuality are now less likely to be in agony over it, and more likely to accept that it is no big deal, one way or another. is a better, stronger place for it, more inclusive and a more cohesive community. We are getting closer to all having equal rights ‘neath the Southern Cross.
Bravo the lot of yers!