Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Same Love

“I might not be the same, but that's not important
No freedom 'til we're equal, damn right I support it.”
– Same Love, Macklemore.

didn't really pay much attention the first few times I heard the song ‘Same Love’ by Macklemore. I ignored it like I did with most of the pop songs my sister, Ireland, listened to. It was only after I caught some of the lyrics that I asked Ireland if she could replay it for me so that I could listen to the whole thing. The lyrics and music video are both heart-warming and incredibly important...and not at all what I would have expected from rap: a song about same sex marriage, equality and love. I usually dislike rap, but ‘Same Love’ is much slower and milder, and now I know the lyrics; I've actually ended up enjoying the song as a whole. It makes me feel a lot more hopeful when I start getting upset: it’s easy to get incredibly dispirited some days, the problems with the world and society feeling like a painful grip on your shoulders. The world has come so far with equality, but we still have a long way to go. Last year, Australia made a huge step toward equality when same sex marriage was legalised in Canberra. I was happy and hopeful (of course, angry that it took this long and had to be legalised at all, when it should have just been a given). But that happiness was soon followed by anger and deflation when that law was repealed and all same sex marriages became legally invalid.

I get so angered by the ludicrous arguments people have against gay marriage. Saying ridiculous things like “if gays can get married, what’s to stop someone marrying a goat?” well, um, there’s kind of a humongous difference between two human beings getting married, and a human marrying a goat. And if someone can’t see that difference, they need professional help. I have no idea how people can think that same sex marriages will ruin marriage for everyone else – I'm sorry, are they crashing your wedding or something? If you ask people what marriage is about, most of the answers are going to be “love.” Why would anyone be worried about gay marriage “ruining the sanctity of marriage” when there’s infidelity, spousal abuse, dowry marriages, etc. to be worried about (that is, if you're going to be worried about anything, although I don't see how that affects anyone else's marriage). Or being worried about it ruining the tradition of marriage? Marriage traditions have changed drastically over both thousands of years and just a decade, many for good reason. Plenty of ceremonies don’t have the father giving the bride away because of how it was a symbol of the “ownership” of a woman being passed from one man to the other. Of course, a lot of these are religious beliefs, even though marriage predates many, many religions and is not owned by anyone or any belief. There are some ridiculous things said by those who aren't religious as well. Some people have said that people should just stop getting married and then there wouldn't be a problem (what?!) or saying same sex couples should just take part in a civil union (where’s the equality in that?). The thing is; it’s not so much about marriage, but about equality and freedom of choice. I could go on forever listing the things said against it, and then point out why that’s ridiculous, but I think I have done enough angry "ranting" about that here to be satisfied(ish). But hey, that’s why I created this blog – to express myself.

Basically, it’s distressing and sometimes I really wish I had a point of view gun, but the closest I can come to that right now is to voice my opinion. When I get upset about things like this, it’s important to remember that there are still some wonderful people and wonderful things happening in the world. I am not alone in my wishes for equality, and there have been some huge steps towards it. Even though same-sex marriage is no longer legal in Australia, it was, for a brief time, and nothing can change that. It was one step back, yes, but after two steps forward and I feel hope for a future with equality for all. Although, of course, as Macklemore sings in ‘Same Love’ “no law is gonna change us, We have to change us” but he also says “a certificate on paper isn't gonna solve it all, But it’s a damn good place to start”. 

*Disclaimer: In mentioning religion, I am not saying that all religious people say and believe those things and I am not attacking religion. 


Rosalind said...

Great article Willow. Like you, I was horrified to read of the repealing of the law relating to same sex marriage in Australia.
You write with conviction and humanity.

OrigamiGirl said...

That video genuinely made me cry. As a bi girl who married a guy I am always aware of how different things could have been for me. I cryed when I heard the news about Australia too. But we will win. The world is getting better, and we have to believe that.