The Big Issue : Edition 486
THE BIG ISSUE 12 – 25 JUNE 2015 29 culture police Fiona Scott-Norman ILLUSTRATIONBYGREGBAKES;ORIGINALPHOTOGRAPHBYMILESSTANDISH EQUALITY IS HERE; LET’S JUST GET ON WITH IT. It’s Time share your views. The worst case scenario – and I am betting here on society not collapsing as predicted – is that the papers will be full of ecstatic gay weddings for a while. Brace yourselves for lots of choreographed dance routines and pugs-in-arms at the reception. And, of course, love. There are so many reasons to crack on. There’s been a lot of emphasis on equal rights, which is proper. It is also totes awks to find ourselves lagging in equal rights behind ultra conservative heartlands such as Ireland, South Carolina and Utah. There is a disconnection in Australia between majority public opinion – how we see ourselves – and what our laws dictate. We are not going to be comfortable until there is alignment. The legalisation of gay marriage is a necessary chiropractic adjustment. But, most importantly, we should do it for all the mums and dads out there who grieve deeply for the lives and landmarks their gay children don’t get to experience. The rearguard argument against marriage equality is ‘think of the children’. Well, I say we should think of the parents, who yearn for a legitimate wedding for their daughter or son, dammit, with all the tears, ceremony and table- napkins-matched-to-cummerbunds that implies. I DJed the first Jewish lesbian wedding in Australia a year ago. The gals obviously had a civil ceremony, but they pushed the traditional boat out as far as possible: a klezmer band, circle dancing, the breaking of the glass, the being hoisted on chairs over the heads of the wedding guests. The whole shebang, as close to ‘real’ as they could make it. It was massive and joyous, and the speeches from their parents were electric. So much pride and love. And anger, too, that their daughters still faced exclusion. Finally, that change is coming. The air pressure is intolerable: we’re that close to the clouds breaking and those fat hot drops of marriage equality washing us all clean. So yeah, I’m toey. MAN, I’M LOOKING forward to gay marriage. You could argue it’s none of my business: I’m smack in the middle of the hetero-normative bell curve, I’m cautious about the institution as a whole, and my boyfriend, while loyal as a rescue dog, is flat out gamophobic (look it up). But legalising gays getting hitched? Bring. It. On. And do it before I have to lock myself in a meatworks cool room and punch a side of beef to release the frustration. All of us in the ‘hurray for gays’ club are getting toey. A bit Lleyton Hewitt. A bit emu hand gesture coupled with a shouted COME ON. Ireland, it seems, has turned the tide against the remaining ‘It’s Eve not Steve’ holdouts. Tony Abbott is banging on about making sure the decision is bipartisan, Australia’s cuddliest archconservative Andrew Bolt has written a grudging ‘harrumph, you win’ column, wedding planners across the nation are poised like terriers at a rat hole and, basically, it’s all over bar the shouting. So can we just do it already? Quick frigging sticks. There’s nothing to be gained by further stalling, except to extend the agony of a) matrimonially inclined homosexuals who have had it up to pussy’s bow with being told they should shut up and be grateful they’re no longer being stoned to death; and b) those for whom Conchita’s bearded hotness at Eurovision coupled with the Irish vote constitutes actual proof that the end is coming. Everyone needs to be put out of their misery. We are all sick of bickering and defending our ground. The culture war has been won, so let’s rip that legislative bandaid clean off. All the better to get that pesky ‘homosexual agenda’ out of the faces of the conservative and bewildered, and the ‘it’s a slippery slope they’ll want to marry their dogs next’ letters and editorials out of the papers. Because just as Grandma may not want to contemplate what might happen between a gay couple on their honeymoon, ‘the gays’ don’t exactly adore the comments section on social media. As with all periods of stillness that follow a civil rights victory, life will be less intense and dramatic for a while. Less provocation. No call for marches and conflict and name-calling. Less need to be horrible to people who don’t » For virtually more FSN, visit fionascottnorman.com.au or follow her on Twitter @FScottNorman.