This week the same-sex adoption legislation will be voted on in the Victorian state parliament. That makes me anxious. The Australian Christian Lobby has launched a full-blown attack on the Safe School’s Coalition. That makes me anxious too. And next year we will almost definitely have to face a plebiscite on marriage equality and that one keeps me awake at night.
It’s been a while since I posted a blog; an overseas trip, home-schooling (temporary measure only I assure you – can’t recommend it!), and a story for publication (more of that later) have kept me away. But right now I feel our community is under attack more than ever so it’s time to crank things up and I need your help with that.
First, the easy asks
I get a lot requests to sign petitions as I’m sure you do and, to be honest, many of them go nowhere, but a good petition, carefully targeted and well distributed, can be an extremely effective campaign tool. This one is about the Australian Christian Lobby’s attack on the Safe Schools Coalition. If I had a dollar for every person of faith who’s said ‘the ACL doesn’t represent me’ I’d never have to fund raise again. And yet the ACL has enormous political influence especially on our parliamentarians. This latest attack threatens the well-being of the most vulnerable in our community and we need to make sure all our state Ministers of Education know they can’t touch the Safe Schools Coalition. It takes two minutes to sign and share. Thanks.
A couple of weeks ago my son, Corin, and I went to see the same-sex adoption bill debated in the lower house (great home schooling activity!). This Thursday it will be tabled in the upper house and its passage is very far from certain. It’s down to the wire and as of today the vote could go either way. If you have a National Party member in your region – either Melina Bath or Damien Drum – could you please send them a quick email asking them to adopt a similar position to their party colleagues and vote in favour of the bill. For everyone else, please keep a close eye on what’s happening via the Adoption Equality Facebook page. We’ll be at Parliament house at 9.30. Come if you can.Thanks.
Now, the bigger ask
Most of you will know that my friend Jason and I recently established a new political party, the Australian Equality Party, with a small group of capable, committed and experienced LGBTI advocates. Jason first suggested the idea at a lunch a couple of years ago and, I have to confess, I almost fell off my chair laughing, but by the end of the afternoon I was hooked. Since then we’ve registered with the Australian Electoral Commission, consulted widely and written an extensive policy platform (of which marriage equality is only one area), developed a media and communications plan and an electoral campaign strategy.
When I agreed to work with Jason two years ago I remember saying that for me the journey was important – that I thought we could do a lot of good work along the way. Clearly, that was my way of saying I didn’t think we had a snowball’s chance in hell of getting Jason elected to the Senate at the next federal election.
But here’s the thing. A lot has happened in those two years and, though the journey is still important, my position has shifted. I no longer believe that getting Jason elected to the Senate is impossible. I’m not saying it’s easy, or probable, and I wouldn’t bet my life savings on it – and there’s certainly an element of luck involved – but it is absolutely and completely possible and I believe we can do it.
Recently, an experienced political hack told us we’d need $500,000 to pull this off. Well clearly that’s not going to happen. $100,000 would be sensational, $50,000 would make a huge difference, but we’ll work with whatever we can raise. We will be smart, creative and strategic.
So here’s my big ask. We’ve organised a fabulous fund-raiser for the end of the year. If you’re in or around Melbourne, please come. Details and tickets here.
If you can’t make it yourself, could you buy ticket for someone else – a young person, a volunteer, an advocate?
And if you are out of town or overseas or would like to contribute in some way, please consider making a donation.
Now, sadly, I hear the distinctive tone of ‘Ssundee’ the dude who narrates Minecraft videos – some of you may be familiar with him – which means Corin has once again drifted off task. First term next year can’t come soon enough.
Thanks for your support.