Couples are Couples

There was a small news article the other day – well, more like a Yahoo blurb really – about how government surveys show more than two-thirds of all Australians either approve of or simply have no problem with the concept of gay marriage. Apparently it’s not just lip service because the above notice has, without fanfare, quietly appeared on the official website.

 For those unfamiliar with the workings of the Oz Government, Centrelink is the main clearing house for all services and benefits (ie employment, unemployment, assistance, welfare, pension), representing both state and federal programs under one roof.  It’s a very convenient system. 

I must confess ignorance at knowing how this decision came about – if it was voted on by the general public, parliament or mandated by the current administration. I don’t recall any recent public debate or discussion, and yet here it is: Acknowledgement on a federal level that whatever your sexual proclivity, two people living together will enjoy all the rights and benefits of any other couple. 

How good is that. 

Australia has, unfortunately, it’s share of gay-bashings, usually instigated by mixing narrow-minded bigots with large amounts of alcohol on a too-hot Friday night, but overall the general public is pretty tolerant of personal choices. The whole country reminds me of the cultural climate of San Francisco in the mid 1900’s. Friendly, tolerant, neighbourly. It was just a lovely place to live. 

So while it may not look like it amidst all the negative press we endure daily from sources like Fox News or the ignorant commentaries that spew forth from people like Sarah Palin, if you can just take a step back and look at the whole picture – really, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and Sarah Palin are in a shrinking minority. 

The world is growing up in spite of them.

It’s a great time to be alive.