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Yes and No: A mother’s response to the Marriage Equality vote

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As marriage equality takes centre stage ahead of the same-sex marriage postal plebiscite, we bring you a moving post by Sydney mother Kate Slan, who shares her emotional take on the debate, and what the Yes and No votes mean to her. 

I’ve been reading some stuff about the hatred directed at Christians by the LGBTIQ community, and supporters, about the SSM issue.

There are lots of people who, for religious or other reasons, feel their No vote is as much their right as someone else’s Yes vote, and they don’t understand the hostility.

I don’t think they understand the perspective of the other side to be honest. They generally try to do good, but I don’t think they understand the effect their stance has. And I don’t think they understand that the two stances on this issue do not have equal effect.


Kate Slan, Sydney mum. Image: supplied

My Yes Vote

  • My Yes vote is not going to invalidate your marriage
  • My Yes vote is not going to stop you from practising your religion
  • My Yes vote is not going to force you to be gay
  • My Yes vote is not going to take your rights away
  • My Yes vote is not going to stop you from speaking your mind

Your No Vote

  • Your No vote denies legal recognition to of thousands of relationships.
  • Your No vote forces your religious beliefs on the law and the entire community – the very antithesis of freedom of religion.
  • Your No vote implies that sexual preference is a choice.
  • Your No vote tells every kid who’s questioning their sexuality that they’re not *quite* normal, that they’re flawed and not quite good enough. It tells every adult who already knows they’re queer the same hurtful messages. And with the astonishingly high rates of suicide and self-harm amongst LGBTIQ people, any message like this is potentially devastating. Your no vote tells homophobes that their hateful stance is justified.
  • Your No vote prevents same-sex couples from having next-of-kin rights, parental rights, property rights and taxation rights.
  • Your No vote implies that religion created marriage. News flash – marriage was around first. Marriage is a great way to organise communities so that women aren’t left, literally, holding the baby while men disappear and sow wild oats. Abram and Sarai were married *before* they became the first Jews. Marriage is not something created by God, it is something created by society so that we can look after one another. It’s about welfare, not faith. If you had a religious wedding ceremony, congratulations. But you also signed a legal document that day. Your marriage was witnessed by legal witnesses. It was performed by a celebrant or minister registered with the government. Your ceremony may have been religious, but your marriage is a legal contract, and that’s what the issue is now.
  • Your No vote tells other Australians that they are less than you.

Do you understand now why they might be a little bit angry?

The church will not implode when SSM is passed. It will not erode our values, destabilise families or harm children. It will not impede your free speech. It will not stop Jesus (or Allah, or Yahweh, or deity of choice) from being your lord.

Sexuality is not a choice. For God to make someone homosexual, then condemn them to a life with no intimate partnership and no sexual expression, does not make sense. If God is who we say he is, he’s not that cruel.

“Oh but I know a gay person who chose a life of celibacy, and God was enough for them” – well that just makes me sad. They may have had a great relationship with God, but not everyone is cut out for celibacy and to condemn every same-sex attracted person to that life is unfeeling and cruel. God created us for partnership, and to take that away from someone because of something they did not choose is nasty.

God can’t be that disapproving of homosexuals, because he keeps making them. Please just let other people have the same legal status you have.

For the “sanctity of marriage” arguments – marriage hasn’t had “sanctity” for thousands of years. Remember when King David got someone else’s wife pregnant, then had her husband killed? Marriage is as sacred as you make it. Get some Matthew 7:3 happening, and make your own marriage perfect before you start pointing out the flaws you see in other peoples’ marriages and relationships. And for goodness sake, just vote yes and let other people live their lives the way they see fit. It is for freedom that Christ has set you free – time to vote Yes and share some of that freedom!

North Shore Mums understand that the upcoming same sex marriage vote is a controversial issue about which people have strong feelings. However, the membership of North Shore Mums includes families of all kinds and as an organisation we believe that all Australians should share the same rights, responsibilities and protections around marriage. We appreciate that people have strong opinions on this matter, but we feel that all people are deserving of respect, and posts which are insulting, demeaning or disrespectful to the LGBTIQ+ community will be removed.

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