My name is Dr. Autumn Chase. I am a paleo-osteologist, professor, devout Catholic, wife, mother, sister, and aunt. Moreover, I am an American. I know many people in Walcha, though chances are my name hasn't been heard by any. I cheered with all of you when the proposed amalgamation was struck down. I cry alongside you when a tragedy strikes this beautiful town. I care very deeply about Walcha and Australia as a whole, and I feel compelled to lend my voice to the conversation that I'm sure most of you are tired of having.
I live with my family just outside of Chicago, a city that has been supportive of equality for all for many years. I prefer to use the term "marriage equality," because this is all the LGBTQ+ community is seeking. In June of 2015, my country legalized same-sex marriage, and please, let me tell you this: Marriage equality did not destroy my homeland. My children are not fed an "anti-heterosexual" education. Rainbow flags did not replace our star-spangled banner.
The only change is that two consenting adults who love each other are now allowed to display that love without fear of legal troubles. My heterosexual children are bullied at school, but not by their homosexual classmates. I am not forced to watch only homosexual couples on television and in movies. These are just some of the ridiculous rumors I've heard associated with the marriage equality debate in Australia. The commercials on television that you have seen are nothing more than propaganda aimed at skewing facts and fooling citizens into making a decision that will benefit no one, but will harm many.
The decision is yours. Will you let the hatred and biases of commercials and politicians control your hearts and minds? Or, will you allow love to win? This day, the choice is yours. I pray you will make the right one.
With Love from America,
Autumn S. Chase, PhD, MA