Coast 'rainbow warrior' warns against plebiscite
A SUNSHINE Coast social justice campaigner has warned supporters of marriage equality against supporting a plebiscite on same-sex marriage.
Fi Anderson, the director of the Sunshine Coast Rainbow Network and a committee member for Sunshine Coast Pride, said many well-meaning members of the general public mistakenly thought they were doing the right thing by supporting the plebiscite.
Ms Anderson said 82% of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex community did not want a plebiscite on same-sex marriage.
"People don't really understand. People are saying yes to a plebiscite but they are not really supporting us,” she said.
The Turnbull government is pressing for a plebiscite which would allow the public to vote on same-sex marriage but the outcome would not be binding, while there are hints the Opposition might introduce a motion for a parliamentary vote beforehand.
Ms Anderson said a plebiscite was time consuming and expensive but also emphasised the lack of equality for non-heterosexual people.
She said it was almost homophobic for the general population to debate the rights of same-sex couples to marry.
"People think they are on our side but really they are not because they are still.... treating us as something different.”
Ms Anderson said the issue was wider than same-sex marriage.
"A lot of people don't understand it's not about marriage, it's about the whole equality issue.”
Ms Anderson said while the issue remained a matter of public debate, members of the LGBTI community were inclined to feel more isolated and marginalised.
She said the attention and debate made it harder for people who were already struggling with their sexuality and acceptance.
"I'm feeling the pressure and I'm quite comfortable with my sexuality so our young people, who are already trying to decide whether to come out or not, they are not going to.”