We, the WA AIDS Council, wish to express our support for marriage equality. We absolutely recognise the rights of our lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans* and intersex clients, members and volunteers to live a full and healthy life that is not shadowed by any prejudice or discrimination, or a life that is absent all of the rights accorded to others. This includes the right to marry the person of their choice.
We have always understood that discrimination impacts on our health in many ways. We understand that lack of access to financial benefits and other entitlements, given as a right to heterosexual families, does not improve wellbeing.
The lack of full and equal recognition of our relationships is a bigger issue. For as long as this inequality exists, there will continue to be a strong government sponsored message that our relationships, in whatever form they may appear, are not as valued as others. This is unacceptable.
All evidence shows that the community strongly supports marriage equality. This is unsurprising since for every lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans* and intersex person, there are parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, workmates, friends and neighbours. Thus the community bears witness to the impacts of inequality that our political leaders are reluctant to acknowledge.
It is time for our great country to join the more than 20 others that have already embraced equality for marriage and the social benefits that have followed.
For those that think that there is a viable alternative to full equality, there isn’t. Near enough will never be good enough when it comes to human rights.