This is a big week for Australia.
A very big week. In fact, some would say it is the biggest week in the history of our land.
“It’s just another election,” some cry. But is it? Never in the history of this nation has the bedrock of society been at stake in the way it is during this election. Both the Greens and Labor are clear, proud and out even, that the covenant of marriage solely between one man and one woman is to be discarded and left to the annals of history if either of them is given power in Parliament.
The Liberals are one step below with the promise of a plebiscite followed by a decision that will then go into the hands of politicians to vote. Most of the remaining smaller political parties wish to see the marriage between a man and a woman upheld and safeguarded within legislation.
So, are we homophobic, intolerant and bigoted if we even slightly hesitate to wrap marriage in the rainbow flag and demand that all love is somehow now equal? In a word, no.
Maybe I am homophobic, you might say? Well, hardly.
Thirty years ago, less than 20 years after the gay community had established its voice through the Stonewall riots in June 1969, I found myself as a practising gay man engaged in ongoing debates at the London Lesbian and Gay Centre.
We discussed long and hard how we in the gay community might best go about changing the hearts and minds of mainstream society to not only accept but to celebrate the gay lifestyle. I remember even then as a young practising gay man being dumbfounded as to how we might portray homosexuality as superior to heterosexuality which was the incessant proposal of one individual.
Roll on one generation and the gloves are nearly off with rainbow flags awash across Facebook and even the White House. The fight appears to have been won. Or has it? We may well have been fed endless column inches about the bloody battles endured to bring about same-sex marriage in nations such as Ireland and the US, but what about the many countries that have also debated and rejected the concept that same-sex marriage can exist?
At the last count I was advised that this number was 22 countries. No, the battle is not over and more nations of the world continue to uphold than redefine the proposal that marriage is between one man and one woman.
But surely I am just being deeply homophobic, you might think. I believe not. In fact, the opposite is true. In my early adulthood I lived, breathed and preached the heart of the gay gospel while attending church every week.
Nearly 10 years ago I married a woman and became a father.
After long reflection on the differences between homosexual and heterosexual relationships, I, along with many others who have walked the same pathway, have learnt that at its core a committed, eroticised same-sex relationship doesn’t have the same components as a marriage between a man and a woman because it can’t. It is wholly different in physiology, in complementarity, and in what it can offer to truly form kids in a healthy and balanced way.
My concerns about the mirage of same-sex marriage come rather out of my homophilia, a deep heartfelt love for those who now walk the same pathway I so confidently walked when living out and proud as a gay man.
The forthcoming election really is about the long-term well-being of all in society. And every decent parent knows that real love sometimes has to say no but always for a greater good.
Vote carefully, Australia. The future of your land truly is at stake.