Pushing gay marriage barrow
ANGELA POLLARD will never get married, but that’s only partly because she’s not allowed to.
Ms Pollard is one of the about three per cent of Australians who describe themselves as gay or lesbian and yesterday chose a novel way to lobby for the right to wed.
She was one of the organisers of a ‘village barrow’ in Lismore’s Magellan Street aimed at encouraging discussion of and support for gay and lesbian marriage.
Standing up for the ‘no’ case at the barrow was Beth Burns, of Lagoon Grass, who happened across the barrow while walking through Lismore yesterday. She was in a polite debate with Ms Pollard when The Northern Star arrived on the scene.
Ms Burns said she had no issue with gay and lesbian relationships, but drew the line at marriage.
“I get married so I can raise children in a stable environment,” she said.
Ms Burns said marriage had always been an institution involving a man and a woman and that same-sex marriages would send a message that one half of the human population was somehow irrelevant or unnecessary.
She said she did not see why gays and lesbians needed marriage if the same rights were available in de facto relationships.
Ms Pollard said a large part of the point of pushing for same-sex marriages was about overcoming prejudice.
“I don’t want to get married, I’m not interested in it,” Ms Pollard said. “But there are others who do want to be married.
“They want to have a ceremony where a celebrant says ‘by the power invested by the State I recognise, accept and applaud your relationship’.
“When you have been discriminated against it is a huge deal to be accepted by your neighbours, your families, by ordinary people.”
Ms Pollard compared the push for same-sex marriage to the universal sufferance movement that gave women the right to vote.
“Women had to chain themselves to the gates of Parliament,” she said. “When women first demanded it they were told to ‘shut up, go back home, what’s your problem?’.
“They had to stand up and say ‘that’s my human right’.”