Yes thank you

Bendigo Weekly | Bendigo Weekly | 17-Nov-2017

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Supporters at the local announcement of the survey result. Photo: Andrew Perryman.
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THIS week’s announcement that a resounding 61.6 per cent of those who voted in the same sex marriage survey did so in support of marriage equality is a significant step forward, but just how big a step, and how quickly the survey results are acted upon, is now back in the hands of our politicians – which is exactly where this process started.

To reap any dividend from the wasteful $122 million spent on the survey, Australia’s political representatives must take note – and they must take decisive action.

Democracy is not cheap, but it commands and deserves respect.

It’s time our politicians had the courage of their convictions – or at least those of the people they were elected to represent, and to implement the necessary legislation that allows for marriage equality. 

Australia needs to be patient, but the people also deserve to know, and soon, the timeframe for these important next steps.

We hope the Prime Minister’s pledge that the necessary legislation would be resolved prior to Christmas is fulfilled, and that politicians can appropriately acknowledge and respect the outcome of this vote.

Australia needs to be respectful, and ever mindful of the thoughts and views of others on both sides of this sensitive subject.  

The actual survey results warrant a closer look, and show that about 7.8 million of the roughly 13 million people who participated support same sex marriage. Given there are just over 16 million voters registered across Australia, it can be claimed that the majority of Australian voters support same sex marriage.

While many of us may think this was unnecessary, a waste of money and an initiative that exposed many Australians to a situation that should never have been, we can salvage something from this.

Equality.  

And anyone who might be wondering what all the fuss is about need only look to the multitude of tear-stained faces and the emotions that erupted when the final results of the postal survey were announced to Australians on Wednesday to see what this means to the people who stand to be most impacted by the changes to law that most Australians voted in favour of.

Their wait has been long, painful and even heartbreaking. 

But now they can take comfort in knowing that they enjoy the support of a majority of their fellow Australians, who share their hope for change, and for that change to come soon.

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