Meet Troy Simpson. Troy has a law degree, he is a published author, and he has run a multi-award winning small business which was named ACT Business of the Year and the National Micro-business of the Year. An ACT resident, Troy recently announced he will stand as an independent for the seat of Fraser at the next Federal election. It would be hard to find a more talented, respectable, contributing member of our community.
And yet, despite his many contributions to our society Troy is a second class Australian citizen.
Because Troy happens to be gay.
Here is Troy’s video response to the defeat of the same-sex marriage bills in the Parliament and Senate last week.
Anyone who opposes same-sex marriage on the basis of the arguments offered up by ill-informed politicians last week, should be required to watch this. It is honest, articulate, compelling and immaculately well-reasoned. Spoken with a raw edge, straight from Troy’s heart; it broke mine.
In the video, Troy says he felt a need to express his ‘raw thoughts and feelings about the way … the Australian parliament has voted against recognizing same-sex marriage’. This, he insists, is an issue of basic equality.
“The exclusive, committed relationship that I have with the person I love, is no different in any relevant way from the exclusive, committed relationship that you have with the person you love. Yet we are treated differently. You can marry, and I cannot. That is basic unfairness. And it is a first order priority of government to address basic unfairness.”
Recognising same-sex marriage will cause no harm. Troy Simpson explains this calmly and cogently. But he urges politicians to consider the real harm caused by denying that recognition.
“IT. IS. A. FACT. that your denying recognition to my relationship with the person I love causes real life pain …”
Please, watch the video and, if your senator or local member voted against same-sex marriage, why not send them a link to the video or to this blog post? They probably won’t change their minds, but they might just realise that we know the harm they are causing by their intransigence on same-sex marriage. Perhaps they might understand, at least, that their role in perpetuating inequality makes them complicit in causing real life pain to real people like Troy – for no good reason. I think that’s unconscionable – and I hope you do too.
Troy has started a petition calling for Tony Abbott to remove Concetta Fierravanti-Wells from her position as Shadow Minister for Mental Health.
(Ms Fierravanti-Wells, you may recall, was the Q&A panelist who so eloquently denigrated Catherine Deveny as one of the ‘chattering classes’ and hissed at agnostic Anna Krien that she was a ‘fence sitter’.)
In her senate speech on same-sex marriage, Fierravanti-Wells continued the insults, questioning whether gay couples “even intend on staying in a monogamous relationship” and linking gay marriage with “concepts repugnant, abhorrent and destructive”, such as polygamy. As Troy points out, her attitude towards same-sex marriage is one of ‘open hostility’.
This, he reminds us, is starkly at odds with the views of mental health experts:
“Decades of psychological research links marriage to mental health benefits and, conversely, highlights the harm of social exclusion to people’s mental health. As a result, the Australian Psychological Society (and other mental health groups) support the full recognition of same-sex relationships. Yet our Shadow Minister for Mental Health, Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, not only opposes same-sex marriage, but also speaks with open hostility on the subject.”
Given her arcane and destructive views, it is dishonest for Ms Wells to pretend she is concerned about the mental health of all Australians. Further, it is clearly untenable for her to continue in the role of Shadow Minister for Mental Health.
Please consider signing and sharing Troy’s petition with your own social networks.