A year on: The heart-warming moment when politicians, emotionally, joined spectators in the parliament as they broke into song, on the day that Australian Parliament voted, overwhelmingly in favour, to allow all citizens equal rights to marry.
<blockquote class=”twitter-video” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Here’s the moment Australian parliament voted to legalise same-sex marriage and started singing "We Are Australian". <a href=”https://t.co/DexvOUC9WQ”>pic.twitter.com/DexvOUC9WQ</a></p>— Alice Workman (@workmanalice) <a href=”https://twitter.com/workmanalice/status/938670916598247424?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>December 7, 2017</a></blockquote>
Post by Alice Workman on Twitter
PS The singing happens about 1 min in to the video, after the politicians have finished celebrating the passing of the bill.
Although many would say that the rubber stamp was a long time coming and others would say that the issue did not require the controversial and delayed process that was adopted, in the end,
Those who ultimately showed their disagreement were few, and some others chose to ‘not stand in the way’ of the passing of the bill, despite their own beliefs and opinions and still others bowed to the wishes of the Australian public and voted for the bill when the time came.
As with any situation that goes to human rights, equality and personal beliefs, Australians from all walks of life have been forced to confront their own webs of belief and, in many cases, suffer interrogation from those who held/hold differing beliefs. It has been difficult and drawn out but, once Australia decided and parliament supported that decision, the song said it all. It pulled at heart-strings and brought proceedings to a momentary halt, whilst bringing some politicians to tears and most to respectful attention. An air of serenity and positivity pervaded that space.
From this day, whenever I hear this song, which has long been an anthem for our multi-cultural country; its spirit, its heart and its unity, my thoughts will include ALL Australians. Those who chose this song to mark this momentous occasion were wise beyond words for this should never have been an us-and-them debate, but a coming together of many wisdoms to resolve inequality in all forms, in ways that ring true to Australia’s lofty common values and strengths and to our compassionate and supportive soul, as a country.
I am, today, prouder to be an Australian!!
I must say that, I respect and have a deep understanding of those of all opinions and hold close those who have suffered, due to the drama and controversy that led up to the decision. I understand those who have fought long and hard for what they see as a simple right and I understand those who have deep, religious or cultural, beliefs and I understand all those between. For, we each are products of ourselves and our own interactions with this world and how we have imposed our thoughtfulness on these interactions to form our unique web of belief. In this, all have been affronted and confronted; uplifted and buoyed; dredged over and cast aside; accepted and rejected, but where our wounds were not mortal wounds, we can all now be nurtured in a more dignified and more respectful community. This is my hope!
For, knowledge and certainty are but fleeting wisps within our minds, but the street we each walk, if paved with compassion and acceptance, will lead us to a stronger and more harmonious community. Today I, who could say that I have no part to play in this discussion, have a part to play in this discussion. I did not want the responsibility to say, and some politicians were fearful of putting their name to legislation that was against their personal beliefs, but the simple question of marriage came down to, for me, one of more love and more commitment, which aligned with my hopes for a better tomorrow for our country.
I rest easy in my belief that Australia is a non-litigious country, for the most part, and that those who have fought so hard will continue to respect the opinions of others and relish the unity that the country has shown.
Now, the arena can fall silent and the quiet minds can turn to other thoughts.
For anyone who would like to hear the full song, to understand the depth of its impact:
The lyrics to ‘I am Australian’ were written in 1987 by Bruce Woodley of ‘The Seekers’ and Dobe Newton of ‘The Bushwackers’ and set to music composed by Bruce Woodley.