Community still split as postal plebiscite votes hit the system

September 16, 2017

Back row - David Bates, Ryan Jiebin, Peter Williams, Bruce Pearson and Phillip Bell. Front row - Dalima Isean, Annie Middleton, Cris Todd, Kristen Munro ad Harvey Griffiths.

THE same sex marriage postal plebiscite has already started hitting our letterboxes.

Supporters of the yes vote in Echuca-Moama are asking everyone to vote with empathy.

Gay advocate Cris Todd said he should have the right to love who he wishes.

‘‘I should have the same rights as my family and friends and work colleagues,’’ he said.

‘‘But I can’t marry the man I love because a law doesn’t allow it. My love is the same as a heterosexual.’’

Mr Todd said there are a lot of scare tactics in some no vote advertising.

‘‘A lot of people think it doesn’t affect them and it is fine, but these ads bring children into the debate and suddenly people get scared,’’ he said.

‘‘My partner and I are 14 weeks pregnant by surrogate with our first child and like any expecting parents we hope to be a family unit.

‘‘We want to have the same last name as our child when it is born.

‘‘Marriage is about the coming together of two families. Let’s just get it done.’’

Echuca Community Church pastor David McAllan said the postal plebiscite isn’t just about same sex marriage.

‘‘There will be a raft of consequences if we change the definition of marriage,’’ he said.

‘‘If gender no longer matters within marriage it will no longer matter within schools and work places and in every scenario. The negative impact will be far greater and we will see more family issues than we have now.’’

Campaspe Shire councillor Kristen Munro said it is about equality.

‘‘We want to be the generation that made change,’’ she said.

‘‘Like many generations before us, things change, and we believe that this is the time to make marriage equal.’’

There was a fairly even response from the community on the Riv’s Facebook page which reached more than 9700 people.

Nicholas Hodson said as a gay man he would be voting yes.

‘‘All us yes voters are asking for is to be legally recognised in the same way our hetero counterparts are,’’ he said.

‘‘We don’t want to take anything away from you, it won’t lessen your love, nor affect your life in any aspect. We just want equality, we just want in to the club called marriage.’’

Kellie Richards said she would only vote yes if it was worded differently.

‘‘It doesn’t affect me, it’s about my freedom of choice,’’ she said. ‘‘I’d vote yes if it was worded differently, like hommage for men, femmage for women and marriage for men and women.’’

‘‘Big yes from me as I believe in equality and love for everyone,’’ Jody Hardiman said.

Maxine Power said she would be voting no.

‘‘Gay marriage undermines sex roles within marriage, placing children ever more outside the purpose of marriage. It reinforced the idea all means of sexual satisfaction are equal.

‘‘It’s a bad idea, just look at Canada and the US.’’

‘‘Definitely yes as it won’t affect me, except I’ll have a few more awesome weddings to attend,’’ Nicole Cunnington said.

Barbara Fischer said as a 50-year-old she has watched bullying since she was in primary school.

‘‘I’ve seen what is was like when gay people didn’t exist in the public eye,’’ she said.

‘‘Because it was deemed unacceptable. I’m sick of this bullying, it has to stop, I’m voting yes.’’

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