YOU should see the phones light up at the radio station whenever I mention same-sex marriage on air.
I’ve spoken to a gay man who really struggled to keep the tears away as he talked about he and his partner finally realising their dream. I’ve had fundamental Christians reading out sections of the Bible and I spoke to a man who warned that we may be heading down the path of the Netherlands, where it is illegal to vilify gays!
I’ve been working on radio for 30 years and for most of that time I’ve spoken against same-sex marriage, not all that passionately, but nevertheless against it.
Why? Well, I can’t really explain, other than small-town ignorance.
I don’t really understand homosexuality. I grew up in a little country town in the 1970s. If there were gay people there, I didn’t know about them.
As I grew up and moved around Australia, I began to see that this perception was wrong. I’ve got dozens of gay friends and I’ve learnt along the way to accept the differences that we all have.
It still took me a long time to get to the point that I publicly support same-sex marriage and, in the end, it was for no other reason than I was sick to death of talking about the issue.
I still don’t fully understand homosexuality, but I don’t have to. I do understand that there are hundreds of thousands of Australians who are attracted by members of the same sex and that they would like to have the chance to get married to their partner in the same way that heterosexuals can. What more is there to understand?
It is inevitable that Australia will one day have nationwide same-sex marriage laws. I’m sick of arguing about it. Let’s just do it. And when it does become law nationally, we in Canberra will have played a role in making it happen.
Mark Parton is the breakfast announcer on 2CC