So, I've been living in Los Angeles now for roughly two years, and the most common thing that I hear from most Americans is just how backward Australia seems as a nation.
Yeah, that's correct. The nation that houses the Westboro Baptist nutters looks to Australia as a backward nation. And the thing is, I 150 percent can see exactly why they would think that.
Firstly, marriage equality is nowhere to be seen. 2015 has been a landmark year globally for LGBT rights. Ireland voted yes to marriage equality, the SCOTUS made marriage equality the law of the land here in the U.S., and what exactly did Australia achieve?
Bronwyn (Marshmallow head) Bishop used a hell of a lot of taxpayers money flying herself around the country on helicopters, rocket ships and god knows what else. Tony Abbott still appears lost, vague and zombie-like during any press conference or interview and the minister for Agriculture has said that if Australia were to allow marriage equality it would affect trading with other countries, not to mention saying he was going to kill Johnny Depp's dogs. Just to name a few.
Is this a joke? No. Well, yes, actually. The Australian government is a complete joke, and I can honestly say that I have never seen the country is such a sad and pathetic state.
Australia used to hold the title of "The Lucky Country"... Yeah, lucky if you're a heterosexual, caucasian MALE. The rest of us are screwed.
I've tiptoed around the subject for far too long, but the fact is Australia looks like a nation run by a bunch of 16th century hillbillies.
I am in no way saying that other western nations have achieved absolute success, however Australia isn't even in the same league when it comes to progress and are lagging behind by a few hundred years.
The thing I find so unbearably pitiful is Australia's national anthem line: "advance Australia fair," which is meant to mean "progress this beautiful country of ours forward."
What progression is Australia actually making? The MINISTER FOR WOMEN IS A MAN! You can't make this shit up!
Now as a nation like Australia who has such an intense history of discrimination, I really would've expected them to take greater note when it comes to the rights of others. Instead, other groups have just fallen victim to hate.
It's time Australia came out from the dark ages, allowed marriage equality and equal rights for the LGBTQ community, women, indigenous Australians and people other than the straight white male population and caught up with the rest of the Western World.
I know I have ranted before about this issue but it's becoming more and more painful to see my home go backwards rather than forwards. When I left Australia and moved to the US, I truly hoped that one day when I returned things may have changed. This is appearing to be further and further away from reality.
The thing I wish the Australian politicians would grasp is that marriage equality isn't about a fancy wedding, a great cake and a fountain of champagne (well, it could be, but there's more to it than that). Marriage equality is a statement to the millions of LGBTQ youth of Australia that they are enough. That they are accepted and equal to their heterosexual peers and that everyone deserves a fair go.
It really is time to get with the times Australia. We have electricity and a thing called "the wheel" here in the future.