**An open letter from our Founder, Kate**
I believe that we should live in a world where all people are free and equal. I believe this to my core, which is why it’s so disheartening to know that this is not the world we live in… not yet anyway.
As most of you may know the Australian Government has spent $122 million on the same-sex marriage postal vote. Think about what that money could have gone towards, maybe mental health, Melbourne’s increasing homeless community, children’s education… but no it’s going towards specifically deciding if we are all equal.
I am writing to you today and asking you to vote for LOVE.
Vote for a world where we accept each other and tell each other that it’s okay to be who you are, whoever that is. I have many friends and family members who are part of the LGBTIQA+ community (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer/questioning and ally – which means friends of this community) who are no less equal to myself…. Well the only difference is that they need to fight for their love to be legally recognised and I don’t… and I call bullshit on it!
In my eyes, we are more alike than we are different. We are all part of the one humanity.
None of us is free, until all of us are free.
Click this link and register to vote for LOVE – you only have until August 24th.
If you are going to VOTE for LOVE, then there is no need to read on (but please do); to those of you who are: 1) sitting on the fence, 2) thinking this doesn’t impact you or 3) in complete disagreeance to my opinion, I say this…
1) Get off the fence; the world does not need fence sitters right now. The world needs people who are going to fight for justice and equality.
2) The rights of the LGBTIQA+ community are human rights. Are you a human? Then, guess what, it impacts you.
3) Hmmm, well I have lots to say to you…
If you feel threatened over people having the right to marry whomever they want, ask yourself “what about this makes me feel threatened?” Where is your fear stemming from? Because I honestly think it’s misplaced. Someone else having the same right as you, doesn’t threaten you; in fact it works to help build a more united and stronger future for ourselves and the generations to come. Don’t feel scared of change, be excited by the possibilities it brings with it.
And finally, I’ve thought long and hard about what I have written next and if I should address it or not. I thought of the family members or friends I might upset and potentially lose, and then I thought if I stay silent in times like these then nothing changes. If people don’t speak their truth, nothing changes. And I also thought that, those family or friends who I may upset; maybe I don’t want those people in my life. I don’t mean that in a hateful way, but in life you need to surround yourself with people who lift you up and bring positivity into your life, and after much consideration those people don’t, not with their current views anyway. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but when your opinion is extremely hurtful to someone else, full of hate and discriminates against them, then I also have the right to choose not to associate with you.
I’ve had conversations with people about same-sex relationships and religion. I grew up in a semi-religious family, but wouldn’t call myself religious. I am however, deeply spiritual. I learnt enough about God (him/her/the universe/ whoever you think of when you think of God) through my early school years, through my Dad and through my own investigation and beliefs.
I have come across amazing people who are deeply religious and believe ALL people are equal no matter who they love. However, I have come across people who believe that to allow same-sex relationships or marriage is against what God wants. That the Bible says a marriage must be between a man and a woman and use this to fuel their hate and discriminatory views.
And to that I say, the God I know is all loving, all-inclusive, He does not discriminate, and He made us as we are. You are doing your God an injustice if you use His name to excuse your homophobic and hateful views.
There is a passage in the bible that says, “whoever claims to be in the light but hates another is still in darkness” – well folks, I think that just about sums it up.
A couple of months back I was walking my dog Hunter (if you know me well you will know just how much I adore Hunter and how much happiness he brings into my life). He wasn’t on a leash as he is pretty well trained. We were walking on a huge oval, which is connected to a major four-lane highway (somewhere we don’t usually walk). Out of nowhere Hunter saw a rabbit that was running towards the highway and took off at the speed of lightening. In that split second I knew he was going to run straight into the traffic, be hit and killed in front of my eyes. In what was probably the scariest moment of my life, I started running towards Hunter, screaming his name over and over again, until I realised he was fixed on the rabbit and was not listening to me or taking in his surroundings. As the rabbit got closer to the four lane highway, so did Hunter. I was screaming so hard I damaged my vocal cords, running so fast, I tripped and hurt both knees, crying so hard I could barely see in front of me and feeling completely helpless. I was about to witness my 3 year old baby (yes, he is a dog but I love him like a child) be hit by a huge truck and killed. In that moment I did something I have never done before. I started to pray (as I was running). “God, please don’t take him from me. Please God, make him stop running. Please. Please. Oh God. Please. God. Hunter please stop. God please save him.”
I continued to run and pray and cry all at the same time. Out of nowhere the rabbit turned and ran into a bush; Hunter followed him into the bush and got caught up in the branches and twigs. I got to him in time. Tears streaming down my face. I lunged at him, wrapped him in my arms and continued to cry until I heard myself say ‘thank you’.
Who was I thanking? God? No way, I’m not even religious, I don’t even go to church. This is crazy. But in a desperate moment I called to God.
I tell you this story, because when anyone uses religion as part of their hate, their discrimination and their deeply hurtful opinion’s, I think “No, I may not know God or be deeply religious, but I feel connected enough to know he/she (whatever you want to call your God) contains no hate whatsoever. I know that people deep down are good, and caring and it’s life that makes us feel threatened and scared and often hateful.
I ask you today to turn that fear you have and do something else with it other than hate; look to the future that is possible. A future where each and every person is free and equal, where no matter our race or religion, our sexual identity or orientation, our age or ability; we are all equal, all part of one humanity.
We are more alike than we are different.
Vote for a world that represents your hopes not your fears.
Vote for LOVE.
Because without LOVE, what else do we really have?
With love and respect,