Following the brutal murders of 49 people in Orlando, Australian singer Darren Hayes has written a powerful open letter to the Prime Minster, Malcolm Turnbull urging him to grant same sex couples the right to marry.
Writing about the legal and social inequality members of the LGBTI community still face, and the issue of same sex marriage, Hayes shares poignant moments from his personal history and asks, “Why not be a hero? Why not join right side of history now?”
The letter comes at a critical time for the PM, with the federal election just weeks away and polling numbers between he and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten growing tighter every day.
With a $160 million plebiscite for gay marriage on the table, Hayes speaks for many when he writes, “lead your party to come up with 160 better uses for 160 million dollars.”
Read the full letter below…
Hayes today. Source: Facebook.
Dear Prime Minister
You are the leader of one of the most progressive and fortunate nations in the world and yet your government still denies equality to LGBT people.
You are about to waste 160 million hard earned Australian tax dollars on what is essentially an opinion poll even though you’re aware, as are all Australians, that an estimated 72 per cent of the nation is already in favour of equal marriage. Imagine what you could do with that money instead? For starters, you could spend it on mental health care — for all of those people who are depressed or suicidal as a result of living in a world where they are considered second class citizens.
I know you are aware that in Australia, suicide is the leading cause of death for those between the ages of 15 and 44 and that same-sex attracted Australians have up to 14 times higher rate of suicide attempts than their heterosexual peers. I also know you’re aware this is deeply rooted in the sense of shame and rejection that comes from living in a society where being LGBT is considered ‘less than’.