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November 25, 2011 10:44 PM   Subscribe

A progressive Australian political advocacy group have produced a 2-minute advertisement showing their support of Marriage Equality Down Under. Warning: May pull heartstrings.

Some background on the status of marriage equality in Australia is available on Wikipedia. Although same-sex couples are granted full equality under the law, they are legally prohibited from marrying or entering into a civil partnership, making such recognition and equality difficult to enter into practice. Attempts to overturn this odd status quo have met strong resistance in the Australian legislature.
posted by schmod (49 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
I have never felt so desperately single as now: sitting home alone on a Friday night, watching this.
posted by selenized at 11:05 PM on November 25, 2011 [4 favorites]


I love it, and think it'll play well - a date at Luna Park, beach cricket, barbecues on the deck: it's such an evocatively Australian story that it dissolves the fear of the other that is at the heart of a lot of the resistance to marriage equality.
posted by nicolas léonard sadi carnot at 11:22 PM on November 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


Hmm... umm... yeah... I dunno. About the ad I mean, I'm a 100% for marriage equality. When I first saw this yesterday I didn't know it what it was an ad for and I found the music made it very sinister. I honestly thought it would turn out to be an ad about domestic violence and end with some horrific scene with the nice beardy young man turning losing his temper and beating up our POV character. Of course... maybe that's the idea. When we got to the reveal my reaction was definitely one of relieve; "oooh, it's another guy. oh thank goodness for that." :)
posted by adamt at 11:34 PM on November 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is it screening on terrestrial television?
posted by nicolas léonard sadi carnot at 11:50 PM on November 25, 2011


I've watched it twice now and I have something in my eye.

I love how it goes through ups and downs.
posted by Occula at 12:03 AM on November 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm not fooled. Everybody knows real poofters don't look anything like that.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 12:18 AM on November 26, 2011


(And for fuck's sake, Julia - if anybody should know better, if anybody should know what it's like to be singled out because of the fucking ludicrous idea that, in certain circumstances, what you have between your legs makes it OK for other people to tell you what you can and can't do, it's you. Grow a pair. Yes, I know.)
posted by obiwanwasabi at 12:20 AM on November 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


Wow, that was even better the second time.

Some things about life are universal. Too bad equal rights aren't (yet...)
posted by kinnakeet at 12:21 AM on November 26, 2011


I really like it, although it's interesting how the POV character has been scripted to read more frequently as feminine; "Paul" holds the taxi door for POV, hands POV the shopping basket; POV is looking at the map while Paul drives; POV is scrubbing dishes; POV decorates the porch, then the cake. There are a couple of semi-exceptions; they play cricket and move furniture together, and Paul is the one visiting and mourning his mother (although maybe a more typical "feminine" task, it's not exactly something your partner can do for you).

But that interesting (to me) side note aside, it's a great ad, and I hope it works already.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 12:45 AM on November 26, 2011


This is exactly why marriage is a bad idea--it conflates a monogomy, with a parental acceptance, property ownership, and a kind of bourgeious life style ad for the self satisifed. Look Ma and Dad Fags are just like us.
posted by PinkMoose at 12:50 AM on November 26, 2011


It's so frustrating to me that Australia has openly gay and lesbian politicians, yet marriage equality has never been taken seriously as a political issue. It feels like the general public would have less problem with it than the pollies do.

Great ad, though.
posted by Georgina at 1:14 AM on November 26, 2011


Amen, PinkMoose. We must never, ever suggest that some gay people might want to do something so 'bourgeious' (I don't know what it is, but it sounds awful - is there a cream for it?) as enter into a monogamous relationship and *gasp* buy property.

"Gay marriage - you're ruining it for everybody!"
posted by obiwanwasabi at 1:18 AM on November 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


It feels like the general public would have less problem with it than the pollies do.

This was pretty painful to watch.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 1:24 AM on November 26, 2011


i would prefer us not to sell so quickly, so efficiently, so smugly, and so slickly to people who do not have our communities best interests in mind; this ad rewards the most complacent, basest elements of queer life.
posted by PinkMoose at 1:26 AM on November 26, 2011


PinkMoose, could you expand on that a bit? I'm interested, but I'm not sure I get what you're driving at. (An earnest non-snarky enquiry).
posted by adamt at 1:31 AM on November 26, 2011


It feels like the general public would have less problem with it than the pollies do.


A Roy Moran poll earlier this year had Australian support for marriage equality at 68%
posted by Greener Backyards at 1:32 AM on November 26, 2011


Marriage is about property, and about affiliating your realtionships to the state, seeking marriage is about seeking legitmacy from the state. This ad makes that v. clear.
posted by PinkMoose at 1:48 AM on November 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


The way it was shot reminds me of a bit of Cinnamon Chaser's Luv Deluxe. Thankfully, it ends much better.
posted by june made him a gemini at 1:52 AM on November 26, 2011


Marriage is about property, and about affiliating your realtionships to the state, seeking marriage is about seeking legitmacy from the state.

Are the only worthwhile relationships unsanctioned ones? Some people would rather not have to fight hospital security to get a chance at visitation, or fight their partner's legal next-of-kin to secure property -- yes, property -- that would be theirs by right with proper sanction. If that's bourgeois, so much the better.

I think both sides of the issue have this strange idea that once gay marriage is legal, it will somehow be mandatory. No one is changing the terms of anyone's relationships here; if a couple doesn't want the benefits and responsibilities afforded by the legal construct of marriage, and there are thousands of persuasive arguments on either side of that issue, they don't need to get married.
posted by lumensimus at 2:03 AM on November 26, 2011 [5 favorites]


I think I kind of get your point PinkMoose, in that it really is a total crock of shit that in order to choose who we want to be our partner, who we want to visit us in the hospital when we're sick, or inherit our property when we die, or raise our children, we have to enter into some contract with the state. I think it's bullshit. I'll likely never get married. But I'm also straight, which means I always have the option and gay people don't (at least in Australia and the U.S.). If that doesn't piss you off, something is really wrong.
posted by katyggls at 3:12 AM on November 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


I can see where PinkMoose is coming from. Having equal rights in marriage to all people regardless of sexuality is a victory over bigotry and discrimination, but it does sort of priviledge a certain kind of mainstream, "normalised" view of LGBT people as "just like us" and might leave people on the more radical end of the spectrum still out in the cold.

And it doesn't do much to end casual bigotry, as experiences here show. The Netherlands had ended discrimination in marriage a decade ago, ending legal discrimination but over the past ten years violence and bullying aimed at LGBT people has become worse, as part of an in general hardening and more selfish political climate here.

On the other hand, it is clear that quite a few LGBT people want to be able to marry if they so chose, even if it shouldn't matter for their relationship with each other. Marriage as a symbol still is powerful and I'm not sure that's a bad thing.
posted by MartinWisse at 3:24 AM on November 26, 2011


I liked this advert, even though I read it with the POV as male, because of the way the post was framed.

I do not agree with objections to marriage, either from heterosexuals or from within the gay community. Having choices, like the choice to get married or not, always seems better than not having choices. (Exceptions: choices that infringe on other's rights, freedoms, and choices). So, I don't understand people in the gay community saying that this is 'selling out', or that I shouldn't want marriage, as a gay man. I look forward to building a life together someday with a husband; insurance, visitation rights, and (important to me as an expat) immigration rights make declaring marriage to a state worthwhile, regardless just having my relationship validated by the state. The ability to get married as a gay man is a Big Deal to me for these reasons.

If some segment of gay people desire a 'bourgeois' lifestyle, why would others in the gay community stand in their way?
posted by Peter Petridish at 3:30 AM on November 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


I was kind of hoping this was about how men get screwed by marriage inequality in another way.
posted by fistynuts at 3:40 AM on November 26, 2011


In terms of "selling" gay rights on TV - this is absolutely the most touching example I've seen. It's portraying a queer relationship and just a relationship and on that level, it's very hard to dismiss "No, these two specific people should not be allowed to marry if they want to."

It takes gay marriage out of the abstract and shows that along the trajectory of actual human lives, it's the same as straight marriage - two people totally in love wanting to formally commit to each other.
posted by sonika at 3:46 AM on November 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like the ad and I am 100% for marriage equality but I'm not sure it sells it.

I have some pretty conservative Christian friends who I've had some pretty passionate debates with about marriage equality so I think I know the mindset we need to convert pretty well. And I think I see these friends of mine just snort in disgust at the big reveal, rather than going "Oh wow, I don't see gay marriage as a threat now."

I don't know if you can ever change this mindset with an ad, no matter how well it's made or how the message is presented. I think the best bet for changing people's minds like this is for the issue to become personal, not abstract or removed, like say, if my friends daughter was to one day reveal she's gay and wants to marry her girlfriend.

And sadly, even then, it's not always a given.
posted by Effigy2000 at 4:12 AM on November 26, 2011


A couple of weeks ago, many Spanish twitterers I follow played a meme game about marriage equality. They took the "I don't mind if two men live together, as long as they don't call it marriage" chestnut and ran with it. "I don't mind that gays eat in the evening, as long as they don't call it dinner", etc. Some of them tried to be funny (I laughed at "I don't mind two men sucking each other's cocks, as long as they don't call it fellatio"), but to me the most successful ones were the most banal: "I don't mind a gay man sleeping in the afternoon, as long as he doesn't call it siesta". They revealed the absurdity of the argument.

This is the reason why I think this video will not work. It will certainly not turn the people who think homosexuality is a sin and it's just plain wrong, and neither will it turn the people who think, and say, "But two men or two women can be in a de-facto relationship, why do they need to call it marriage".

On top of that, as someone has already mentioned, polls reveal 68% of Australians are in favour of marriage equality. Who is this ad directed at? The other 32%? If Gillard were the target of this ad, wouldn't she have been persuaded by the poll numbers?
posted by kandinski at 6:15 AM on November 26, 2011


The scent of smug white gym-toned wealthy home-owner privilege in this ad remind me why marriage equality is fairly low down my list of priorities.
posted by dontjumplarry at 6:16 AM on November 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Eh. Bad mood. I'm a supporter. I guess I'd just appreciate it if some of the comfortable white Australian gays who are constantly pushing this issue spent some energy and cash on causes for people who aren't comfortable, Australian and white.
posted by dontjumplarry at 6:32 AM on November 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


1) This is the best anti-marriage-discrimination ad I've seen. If it's not perfect, well meh.
2) No-one's forcing you to be gay-married - no matter what your gender preference. If you want to fight the bourgeois you can still occupy Oxford Street, or whatever.
3) It's a shame this crowd-funded ad can't solve world hunger. I privately suspect no crowd-funded ad will.
posted by pompomtom at 7:14 AM on November 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


I should probably add that I, a sad bourgeois non-married het, get all the advantages of marriage without having sought 'legitmacy from the state' (sic) ... One of the biggest determinants of our rights was actually the moment we decided to share a bank account (which, just quietly, seems to me to be a better determinant than that whole priest/celebrant/open bar malarkey involved in de jure marriage).
posted by pompomtom at 7:23 AM on November 26, 2011


This is fantastic. It also fills me with rage, since it reminds me of the hateful piece of shit state constitutional amendment that's going to be on our state's ballot next year. Pushed through the legislature in 23 hours under the cover of darkness and with some really underhanded methods, it's so incredibly hateful that I'm having a hard time prepping myself for being polite for the phone banking and door-to-door conversations I'll have with other voters. It reminds me of the fact that this amendment is on top of an existing statute that tries to outlaw these relationships. It reminds me about the fact that I'm inevitably going to need to rely on the fact that the amendment fucks up a lot of heterosexual couple's rights as a tactic to encourage voters to vote against it, because apparently "IT'S FUCKING HATE, YOU MORON" doesn't go over so well.
posted by odinsdream at 7:35 AM on November 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


The scent of smug white gym-toned wealthy home-owner privilege in this ad remind me why marriage equality is fairly low down my list of priorities.

I don't understand your meaning here. Marriage equality is a prerequisite for a ton of other social obligations, like home-ownership, for instance. This is a core right that we need to solve in order to lay the groundwork for solving other social issues.
posted by odinsdream at 7:37 AM on November 26, 2011


Marriage is about property, and about affiliating your realtionships to the state, seeking marriage is about seeking legitmacy from the state. This ad makes that v. clear.

Yes, this is true. Since lots of people don't live on self-organized communes, they usually enjoy being able to register their various preferences with the state. This isn't always enough, though, as was the case with Clay and Harold, partners of 20 years, who had established legal wills, powers of attorney, health care powers of attorney, and medical directives with each other.

When Harold fell down the stairs, though, Sonoma County ignored every single scrap of legal paperwork, and: Clay was released from the nursing home months after Harold had already died. His only remaining possession was a photo album that Harold had compiled for them during the last three months of his life.

This is why it's so vitally important that we move beyond simple legal recognition of same-sex marriage into complete cultural and social acknowledgement.
posted by odinsdream at 7:55 AM on November 26, 2011 [23 favorites]


(And for fuck's sake, Julia - if anybody should know better, if anybody should know what it's like to be singled out because of the fucking ludicrous idea that, in certain circumstances, what you have between your legs makes it OK for other people to tell you what you can and can't do, it's you. Grow a pair. Yes, I know.)

She's not religious except to the polling gods. The problem is that supporting gay marriage in Australia right now is a prisoner's dilemma. If either party comes out supporting gay marriage they'll lose 2% of their primary vote and Labor is behind 10% in 2PP.
posted by Talez at 7:56 AM on November 26, 2011


This is the reason why I think this video will not work. It will certainly not turn the people who think homosexuality is a sin and it's just plain wrong, and neither will it turn the people who think, and say, "But two men or two women can be in a de-facto relationship, why do they need to call it marriage".

I'm not so sure you're taking into account the large group in the middle who just need to be gently pressed. I remember, admittedly about ten years back, when I discussed gay marriage with my father, and basically he just said he was against it on a general feeling. Nothing more homophobic than that. A few days later he brought it up to me again on his own and acknowledged that he thought about it, and while it still made him uncomfortable, he thought that wasn't a good enough reason to oppose it, so from a legal standpoint he was now for it. And I know in the years since he's gotten comfortable enough to give token donations to gay rights orgs now and then, etc, and I know he'd give a much less qualified endorsement if asked.

This isn't meant to change the minds of bigots, but it frames the reality for the vast majority in the middle who just never really give it much thought. And the more the see their fears are insane, the more insane the people look who react to it with fear. Trust me, when the people need to choose between the nice couple who lives down the street and plays cricket on the beach, and the morons ranting about them on street corners with bullhorns, the victory is all but a done deal.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 8:43 AM on November 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


She's not religious except to the polling gods.

Oh come on... what does this even mean? Would you prefer she be more orthodox (or catholic, or baptist, or frisbeetarian)? We have a mad monk in the wings, and he's at least as obeisant to the polls.
posted by pompomtom at 8:46 AM on November 26, 2011


I have never felt so desperately single as now: sitting home alone on a Friday night, watching this.

selenized, regardless of your sex, gender, or orientation, consider your hand held.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:01 AM on November 26, 2011 [6 favorites]


selenized, regardless of your sex, gender, or orientation, consider your hand held.

Ditto to both of you. Now we're a snuggly triad.
posted by prefpara at 9:59 AM on November 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


I absolutely despise Getup!, but they are right about this. In Australia one of the prime values of conservatism is freedom for the individual (over collectivism). As a middle of the road Aussie conservative, I can't support denying anyone their rights to do whatever they want as long as it's not hurting others.
posted by nemspyda at 10:48 AM on November 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


When the gay marriage debate was raging in Vermont, there were some GLBT folks who felt that in order to get gay marriage approved, the ads needed to be of a certain type of gay or lesbian couple that would resonate with the general public. The thing that struck me about this particular Australian ad is that the couple isn't seen going to Pride, marching in a parade, protesting for gay rights and they look handsome, clean cut, average. In a similar vein, a lot of the ads in Vermont featured older gay/lesbian Vermonters, wanting to show a picture that "we're just like you, we deserve the same rights just like you."

This isn't to say that there are NOT gay/lesbian couples that are a mirror image of the couple depicted in the advert. But there are are also gay/lesbian couples that aren't that way and I feel like everyone deserves to be depicted as a couple deserving marriage, not just one "perfect" version.

Cultural and social acknowledgement should be for everyone. So I guess in that sense, I can see where some people would find this ad problematic. If it works, that's great, I just hope it works for everyone.
posted by Wuggie Norple at 10:49 AM on November 26, 2011


Bravo. This is a great advert.
posted by Jehan at 12:21 PM on November 26, 2011


.I guess I'd just appreciate it if some of the comfortable white Australian gays who are constantly pushing this issue spent some energy and cash on causes for people who aren't comfortable, Australian and white.

Bit of a false dichotooy, though, innit? Gays can also chew gum and walk at the same time... I believe proposed gay marriage legislation would also be available to non-white and poor gays.
posted by smoke at 1:51 PM on November 26, 2011


Eh. Bad mood. I'm a supporter. I guess I'd just appreciate it if some of the comfortable white Australian gays who are constantly pushing this issue spent some energy and cash on causes for people who aren't comfortable, Australian and white.

In my experience the correlation between people who support gay marriage and support other social welfare reforms is extremely high.

Australian politics is a strange beast. When approaching the gay marriage issue, its important to remember that the Labor party practices strict party discipline. The basic idea is that members of Parliament are not individuals who vote according to their own values and principles, but are elected as representatives of their party, and must vote according to the set party platform. This allows the voter to know exactly what they're getting when they check the box next to a party candidate.

The party platform is that marriage is between a man and a woman. A new draft party platform is being debated at the Labor conference next week, and gay marriage is one of the key issues on the table.

I really want to believe that the ALP's official position on the matter will change after the conference, but I'm not holding my breath.

I don't support a conscience vote on the issue. Partially because I don't support them in general- if you campaigned on the party platform, vote on the party platform. But also because there is no way that gay marriage will pass based on a conscience vote in Parliament. The Coalition and Bob Katter will vote no. The one Greens member will vote yes. Of the Independents, Wilkie will vote yes, while Oakeshott and Windsor could go either way. That means that even in a best case scenario where both of them vote yes, 98% of the Labor members would need to vote yes for it to pass.

I'd hate to see gay marriage put in the 'We tried, it didn't fly, move on' box next to the Republic.

Also, since this comment clearly isn't long and disjointed enough - the slogan 'Its Time' has a significant history for both Australia and the Labor party.
posted by PercyByssheShelley at 3:45 PM on November 26, 2011


The party platform is that marriage is between a man and a woman.

I'd just love for someone to ask these fucking people to define "man" and "woman" and see if they can do it without throwing thousands of people into legal limbo.
posted by odinsdream at 4:44 PM on November 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


And maybe this video is for the 68% who are FOR gay marriage. Because sometimes even those who are for something need to be reminded that not everyone is for it, not everyone is doing something about it, being for it doesn't automatically mean anything if people aren't talking about it, sending letters to politicians or even turning this into the viral video that it has become.

Not every argument needs to be about changing the other 32%'s mind. Sometimes you've got to preach to the choir to remind them why they are in church. (<<<--- See what I did there! Oh, the delicious irony.)

So, kudos to "Get Up" for this video. Hopefully it will keep reminding people to make noise.
posted by crossoverman at 3:05 AM on November 27, 2011


This is exactly why marriage is a bad idea--it conflates a monogomy, with a parental acceptance, property ownership, and a kind of bourgeious life style ad for the self satisifed. Look Ma and Dad Fags are just like us.

Of course the problem with building a rainbow coalition of the disaffected is that people fall out of it as soon as they aren't discriminated against. GLBTQ solidarity is a nice idea, but a very large number of people who fall into the GLB category don't care deeply about the rights of trans people and will not expend much effort to further them.

It's natural for people to try to recruit to their movements. If you're into class struggle, then of course you think that gay rights is a part of that, and you get a little pissed that many gay people are precisely "just like us" and are perfectly happy with bourgeois domesticity.

I can imagine also, that for those gays and lesbians that are decidedly not into the land-owning class thing, the exclusive media representation of people of your sexuality as precisely the kind of hard-wood floor installing, little-league organising burghers that you despise must be galling.
Well, straight people who share that distaste for smug suburban living are a minority too. As the tide of legal and social discrimination that historically prevented anyone not in an extremely conventional relationship from living that kind of accountant's heaven existence recedes, a very large number of the previously excluded will adopt that lifestyle.

Of course, marriage is about property. The most notable thing about marriages in The Netherlands is not that they're available regardless of sexual orientation, but that they're late and rare for anyone in the current generation. Guess what though? Married or not, straight or gay, the vast majority of the Dutch population is mad bourgeois. Unmarried couples frequently buy property together. What's the first thing they do? Weekends of shopping for fitted kitchens. DIY is about your terrace, not your record label. Sorry, do you have a 'zine about landscaping?

Sorry, your distaste for a society of property ownership and stable relationships linked to child rearing and Christmas tree decoration does not appear to be any more widely shared among homosexuals than among heterosexuals. When full marriage equality appears, anyone not interested in this kind of domestic life will within a generation be as marginalised in queer communities as they are in straight communities.
posted by atrazine at 4:51 AM on November 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


The Netherlands had ended discrimination in marriage a decade ago, ending legal discrimination but over the past ten years violence and bullying aimed at LGBT people has become worse, as part of an in general hardening and more selfish political climate here.
By “political climate,” you mean “preponderance of homophobic young Muslim males.”
posted by joeclark at 6:31 AM on November 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Larry, “comfortable white Australian gays” have a right to stick up for themselves and have no responsibility to stick up for groups you deem superior.

Incidentally, nonwhites and immigrants and bisexualists would be allowed to marry under the scenario the PSA advocates.
posted by joeclark at 6:33 AM on November 27, 2011


I guess I'd just appreciate it if some of the comfortable white Australian gays who are constantly pushing this issue spent some energy and cash on causes for people who aren't comfortable, Australian and white.

You know, some people are able to walk and chew gum at the same time. A large percentage of my gay friends happen to be professionally involved in human rights and legal advocacy for poor and dispossessed minorities. Perhaps that's because they have first-hand experience in being metaphorically and literally spat on simply for being born as the "wrong" type of human being.
posted by smithsmith at 6:11 PM on November 27, 2011


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