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Venting about the same sex marriage debate

Community Member

This might be a left field subject and tricky to articulate but I will try. Also, I just don't know where else I can say this and predict that I can do so, maybe without a wave of judgment.

I'm straight and believe in same sex marriage. I'll vote yes when the chance comes. I have a few casual friends and acquaintances who are gay or bi. I have no issue with homosexuality.

But the inundation of content (Usually grandiose Facebook posts) by pro SSM people seemingly EVERYWHERE is just starting to get on my nerves. Even though I have consciously cut WAY down on FB, (Largely due to prevalent toxic negativity) I still see these posts all the time and in the media ALL THE TIME. I understand the value of it and I support it.

It make me feel a little bad to be negative about it. It is an issue I believe in but I'm not as passionate about it as others. I feel kind of "resentful" for lack of a better word. I'm going through the hardest Hell of my depression/anxiety. I've had 2 traumatic breakups, the 2nd I'm still not over 4-5 months since it finished (Complicated) and I've had to manage the concept of on/off suicidal thoughts in recent times too. I guess I don't have any room in my head to care about this cause even though I support it, I am kind and very, very empathetic.

Since breakup no. 1, I have been consciously been working very hard at trying to grow, trying to be MORE kind, empathetic, understanding and even forgiving, even of those who are bigoted, cruel and mean spirited. Easier said than done but really working towards a more peaceful and less reactive self. Perhaps this is my classic overthinking but I wonder if I'm resentful because I'm not getting attention. I want MY problems solved! So am I self absorbed? Is it envy for all the likes (Ugh) my Facebook friends are getting? Do I see it as narcissism? I'd normally be one to cringe when someone uses the term 'virtue signaling', but I kind of find myself silently accusing some straight friends of it, that they are maybe seeking adulation by being crusaders for SSM. Maybe they actually DO genuinely care. That makes me feel dirty, going along with the "virtue signalling" concept.

I don't know when the votes are all tallied up. I hope it goes through but there's just only so many cases of people droning on and on about it so aggressively and ubiquitously and declaring "Unfriend me if you vote No" before I think, "Enough already, we get the point!"

And now I feel guilty for complaining about it.

16 Replies 16

Community Member
Hey mate, I don't want to jump down your throat cos it sounds like you're feeling bombarded enough already.

But maybe I can give you something a bit from the other side of the fence.

I'm a gay HIV positive man with no contact from my family anymore because of both of those things. This whole debate is doing MY head in.

I'm avoiding Facebook and news because of it. On the off chance I do weaken and read, I see things like:

- Someone paying a skywriter in Sydney to fly a plane over the city with VOTE NO spelled out in huge letters

- Sneering government ministers for whom this has zero effect on their lives calling people like me 'delicate little flowers' for getting upset

- 'Stop the fags' posters going up around Melbourne, and hate commentary comparing gay men to paedophiles

On a personal level, I find myself looking at everyone I see on the street and thinking, this person has a right to vote on my life.

I wish I had the luxury to be tired of this debate. Straight people don't have a horse in this race, so they can go hard out supporting equal marriage knowing that if the heat gets too much in the kitchen, they can just change the channel and go back to talking about Game of Thrones because the result will NOT affect their lives.

I'm so angry that my life is a political football and I don't know personally if I can cope with three more months of this crap.

I tell myself that I have coped with far worse for the last couple of decades in my life, but some days this just feels like too much.

So I'm sorry that things are really rough for you right now. If it helps, my feelings about this whole thing are complicated too, because I look at friends I know in relationships of 20+ years fighting for the right to be married, and while I want happiness for them I also feel resentful as I feel like no-one is ever going to want me. Add that to the NO commentary in society, and I feel like the world is telling me I don't deserve happiness anyway.

Oh look I can imagine how punishing it can be with homophobes and bigots refusing to see you and your wish for equality as valid. I agree. Maybe that is why the YES campaigners have been at such a high level of relentlessness as they have been recently, to combat it. It reminds me of the Looney Tunes cartoon between Marvin The Martian and...Wiley Coyote (?) where one pulls out a weapon then in reaction the other pulls out a bigger weapon, then turn for turn the weapons get bigger and escalate. It's to drown out the opposition, to No campaigners.

I don't know, sometimes it just feels a bit redundant as well. How much chance is there left of changing anyone's mind from No to Yes? Most people would likely have their stance made by now wouldn't they?

I don't want to undermine the issue or the cause. Maybe I just can't relate because it doesn't affect me directly, even despite my empathy. I absolutely want equality, I do want equal rights for all. I do feel that it is important, but guess sometimes I might not view it with the same level of importance as some other issues, not to say that you can't crusade for MULTIPLE causes at the same time.

Maybe I feel that some of the crusading (From straight friends) feels a bit insincere or false. Maybe I am just hypersensitive and reacting more about this than I should because I'm just, irritable.

Does any of this make sense? I just wanted to write it out somewhere to get it off my chest, whether it was absurd or not.

I feel bad for criticising people that are doing the right thing and are actually "passionate" about something instead of trivial, superficial nonsense. On the other hand, there is this part of me that has this uneasy feeling that some people's motives are a bit off and more than anything else, this feeling of repetition with no new information or insights to give.

I received my voting paperwork this morning and I'll tick yes for same sex marriage. I guess, you know how it is when sometimes you hear people (gay or straight) that blurt out in frustration "I just wish LGBTQI lifestyles were accepted as normal as heterosexuality so that we don't need to keep talking about it and needing to have parades and pride, etc! (Just to get representation) I can't wait for that day!"? I guess it's kind of like that. It's an impatient feeling to wish we were just at that point, which I'm sure everyone else wants to be.

I've never felt frustrated about this before and I don't like to be. It has just randomly boiled up.

Hey mate, knowing that people are voting YES and taking the time out to do it makes me feel better, even though I have very mixed feelings about having to say 'thank you' for doing it. But thank you anyway.

I think I share the same frustration as you in a way. It is very easy for some people to hop on the bandwagon and crusade for their own personal reasons, which is what I was getting at when I said that those people can just step away from the fight at any time when they get bored with it, but still reap the benefits of being seen as a 'progressive' citizen.

That's one of the things that angers me about having this vote in the first place. All of this kind of crap has been enabled. There are genuine issues that affect each and every Australian that we DON'T all get to vote on, that politicians wouldn't dream of letting us vote on. The only reason this is happening is because certain NO politicians don't want it to happen. Firstly it was so they could kick the can down the road and avoid debating it, now I feel it's just mean-spirited: 'ok you're going to get your marriage but we want to make damn sure you know at every junction just how much we think you're not normal and we don't accept you'. As if we need reminding!!!

I guess what does concern me at this point is that people who are feeling like you who will end up voting NO just out of spite, or to be contrary. I think the politicians who forced this postal vote know all this, and wanted to create as much chaos as possible because they know it will favour NO. And that makes me so angry.

My opinion,

There has been far to much attention and hard working money spent on something that the majority really couldn't give a frying fish about.

There are sooooooo many people dying suffering with abuse ,physical pain, mental health people that go everyday, a mother dies at 40 leaving 3 young children.

So no I don't feel Sorry,for the way I feel,I feel for the ones that should be getting help.



Its simple don't listen or go on social media because all it is doing is feeding the Evil.

Easy to say if the issue doesn't affect you.

I'm pretty tired of this issue either being framed as so important that it must be voted on by each and every Australian, or so insignificant that we shouldn't be spending any time on it.

Well excuse me, but my life and my relationships DO matter, particularly if I'm being shut out of a hospital because I can't name a partner as next of kin. I sure as hell don't want my family anywhere near me in the event something happens to me.

I didn't say it doesn't effect me.

it is effecting everyone.

That is what the problem is!

I am not arguing I am Have my say.


You raise some good points Justin.

This would have been SO much easier if the government just changed the legislation and that would be it. But like Dory has said, money has been wasted for a decision that should simply be made and as you have pointed out, the chaos has risen where the No people are made more able to voice their opposition and spread their bigotry and treat LGBTQI people as 2nd class citizens. It's very unfortunate, even if SSM is clear to go in the end. I can imagine your anger.

Highlighting a cause I am passionate about, I'm trying to view your position through the prism of the anger I feel at the stigma, apathy, lack of action and lack of empathy regarding mental illness in the community, which being here I'm sure you know quite well and have feelings about. Because that's just another example of a group of people who are marginalised, abused, mocked and forced into silence through fear of judgment WHEN INSTEAD being open and talkative about this SHOULD be happening. And depression is common in the LGBTQI community because of those above reasons. That's a Hell of a double punch.

Imagine how much mental health could grow in people if their LGBTQI lifestyle was accepted as normal and such hardcore persecution didn't exist. If only. So, one could view a green light on SSM as a small victory that means just a bit, especially if you don't have any great belief in the concept of marriage. Others could see it as just one more step forward towards normalcy and acceptance, because the partners are afforded those same rights legally and as next of kin. One more step forward, in whatever form = greater normalcy = an element of less stress, turmoil, shame, fear and silence = theoretically one less reason for mental illness to have power over people.

So in the bigger picture maybe I can see the importance of the campaign. But I'm still irritated at how much it is dominating everything in the media, the "progressives" that want to remind the world just how progressive they are. It's masturbation, it's narcissism (I LOATHE narcissism, which social media truly enables). Cynical yes but not inaccurate. I've seen 3 posts today of people taking photos of their Yes box ticked. Great, you're doing the right thing, good, but you don't all have to tell the world about it. It feels kind of crass, a hijacking or piggy backing of a cause to show us how awesome you are. Just do it, no need to tell us all. THAT I suppose is my real gripe when you get down to it.

Hi Sad Puppy Dog,

I think it's a good idea that you've created a thread on this topic because all the debate and vitriol being thrown about is enough to upset anybody. I've long given up social media and to be honest could not tell you the last time I watched the news or read a paper. And it's quite possibly the best thing I've done for myself in ages.

This vote and the smear campaigns on both sides are disgusting. And don't get me started on the vote itself. All it will achieve is upsetting people. If the vote is no people get hurt. If the vote is yes it causes fear to the religious community. And what if it is too close to call? Another smear campaign? Another vote? More hatred and fear and division and resentment and pain for everyone involved?

I keep wondering if all of this could have been avoided just by choosing a word other than 'marriage'. Bypass the religious debate all together and give same sex couples the right to be recognised as a family. Forgive me if I've missed the point completely but a lot of the people I know who are voting no are doing so because of their faith and nothing more.

Thank you for creating a place where people can discuss this.