“Mum, can men marry men yet?” my five-year-old son asked me yesterday.
I sighed. “Not yet. Not in Australia. But soon. I hope.”
About a year ago, my kids and I were guests at the wedding of two women at the British Consulate in Sydney. Filled with joy at their joy, I told my son that it would probably be only a matter of months before women could marry women and men could marry men, everywhere in Australia.
Okay, so I was overly optimistic. It hasn’t happened, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen anytime soon, even though at least 70 per cent of Australians support it.
My son is starting to want to know why. Why can’t men marry men?
My kids have relatives who are gay. They spend time with our friends who are gay. They go to school with kids who have same-sex parents.
I mean, this is Australia. This is 2016. Out here in suburbia, gay couples are getting on with living their lives and bringing up families.
It’s just that the Australian government is making it really obvious they think these relationships aren’t equal to heterosexual relationships.
So, Prime Minister Turnbull, what answer do I give to my son when he asks why men can't marry men? Because some people think it's wrong for men to love men, or women to love women? And why is that, exactly?
I don't want to explain homophobia to a five-year-old, and I shouldn't have to. It's awkward and horrible. I don't want to put those kind of thoughts in his head.
Sadly, over the past week, the word "homophobia" has been getting a lot of use in the media.