UMSU stands in solidarity with the queer community on this momentous day in which Marriage Equality has passed and will soon be law in Australia. This is a massive milestone for not only the queer community, but all of Australia. We should be proud and take a day to celebrate this victory.
Thank you to everyone who fought for the Yes vote that has led us to this outcome. The Yes Campaign and all the wonderful volunteers for the campaign, Australian Marriage Equality and every other organisation who supported the cause. We’d also like to thank the 61% of Australians who voted yes, and all the people in Melbourne, who contributed to one of the highest Yes votes in the country.
The student movement has always supported the queer community and the fight for marriage equality from the very start and UMSU will always support queer students. The UMSU Queer department will always be here to support you and advocate for you.
However, this isn’t the end of the struggle. We recognise that there is so much more work to be done to ensure that queer people and students are treated equally inside and outside the university. We must ensure that we are working on a range of other issues that disproportionally affect queer students including mental health issues, income inequality, queer youth homelessness, access to adequate medical services and life-saving medication such as PEP and PrEP, and discrimination inside our classrooms.
While the passing of Marriage Equality is a thing to celebrate, we recognise the unnecessary hurt and harm of the debate. The decision to hold a postal vote on this issue in the first place was a disgraceful policy, and has given a voice to an offensive and distressing no campaign. We recognise that the ongoing discussion about this issue may continue to be distressing.
Elinor Mills and Amelia Reeves
UMSU Queer Officers
If you need support, you can contact:
UoM Counselling and Psychological Support: 8344 6927
UoM Safer Community Program: 9035 8675
QLIFE: 1800 184 527
Beyond Blue: 1300 224 638
Continue to look after yourselves and remember it’s ok to take a step back if you need.