On Tuesday, Malcolm Turnbull stood up in Parliament and told 11-year-old Eddie that “as he gets older” he’ll understand why the Government wants to fund a $7.5 million campaign so people Eddie has never met can judge his family.
But Eddie already understood – far better than the Prime Minister – what that campaign would mean for families like his.
Eddie chose to come to Canberra on Tuesday to ask Malcolm Turnbull to “please do your job.” He wants his mums to be able to get married without having to hear in the playground that there’s something wrong with his family.
When Eddie came into my office on Tuesday morning with other kids from Rainbow Families, a support group for LGBTQI families, it really struck me that he had a point.
Why should people who barely know him make assumptions about his family and have a vote on how they can live?
No-one got to vote on whether I should be allowed to marry my husband.
Our views on marriage and families in Australia have changed over time. Years ago, the government could determine who Aboriginal Australians could marry. In most states, Aboriginal Australians were not allowed to marry their non-Aboriginal partners.
As late as 1959, the Darwin protector of Aborigines refused Gladys Namagu permission to marry her white fiancé, Mick Daly.
In his speech at The Ethics Centre earlier this year, Indigenous journalist Stan Grant spoke of the dispossession of his people. Of the Constitution that had "allowed for laws to be made that would take our children, that would invade our privacy, that would tell us who we could marry and tell us where we could live."
Listen to Mia Freedman, Kate de Brito and Monique Bowley discuss the plebiscite on Mamamia Outloud.