In tech we understand how the decisions we make on a day to day basis, have a direct impact on the people we interact with. As a company who cares passionately about equality, nowhere is this more forefront in our minds than the Australian referendum on gay marriage.
As a RainbowStriper this is really important to me personally. Part of the reason my spouse and I can live and work happily in Wellington, is because of the leaps forward that both the UK and New Zealand took on marriage equality.
I have experienced first hand the difference a vote can make.
Last month Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull announced that there was going to be a referendum by postal ballot to decide whether parliament can take a vote on gay marriage before the end of the year. We’ve seen this happen before, in Ireland a couple of years ago, where the Irish people voted to give their family and friends access to equality.
Last year’s electoral upsets of both Brexit and Trump demonstrated the power of the public vote. Two events that most people thought were unthinkable were totally upended by the decisions that people took.
Like what we saw in Ireland, referendums are even more important, as every vote truly counts.
It’s about more than just marriage
Marriage equality isn’t just about marriage.
Marriage equality signals to some of our most vulnerable LGBTQ youth that they have a part to play in the future of our society.
A recent study linked a drop in suicide rates by 14% for gay, lesbian and bisexual teenagers following the passing of marriage equality in the USA.
If you’re Australian, vote yes for marriage equality.
As a company, we’ve been thinking about how we can contribute to this referendum, considering we aren’t in Australia to vote.
Studies show how having short intense conversations can help reduce people’s prejudices for up to a three month period. In the LGBTQ community we have always known that we must come out to achieve equality, but this study shows you don’t have to be LGBTQ to reduce people’s prejudice. Bringing awareness to the issue and reducing prejudices works irrespective of being part of a minority group or not!
So contact your friends, family, colleagues and connections and have a chat. The conversations we have with our fellow Australians are more powerful than any campaign, status update or banner.
If you’re unsure about how to start those conversations - check out this guide.
As SilverStripers, we understand the power of disparate networks of people working together across the world to make something extraordinary happen. This is no different.