Couple disappointed election win takes equality off agenda

Em and Mikayla Glossop, with 1-year-old Ella, are a gay couple who want their daughter to grow up knowing there is equality in Australia.
Em and Mikayla Glossop, with 1-year-old Ella, are a gay couple who want their daughter to grow up knowing there is equality in Australia. Brenda Strong

LEGALISING same-sex marriage was not a vote switcher during the election campaign, but many Australians agree it is important symbolically.

The Labor party garnered a big part of the gay vote, after Kevin Rudd openly supported marriage equality.

But Calliope couple Mikayla and Em Glossop were devastated when they woke up on Sunday to find out Labor had been defeated, and the Coalition would take marriage equality off the agenda.

It has spurred on their fight to be recognised as married in the community and bring up their 18-month-old daughter Ella in an accepting and equal society.

Although they hold hope that a stronger Liberal contingent has shown its support for marriage equality, their own returned Liberal Member for Flynn, Ken O'Dowd, made his position against gay marriage clear during the election.

Mikayla said under the LNP the fight would be harder but she was more passionate about the cause now they had Ella.

"It was devastating on Sunday to think what might happen (under Labor) could be ripped away like that," she said.

"I see it as a backwards step for the wider gay community."

She said politicians like Mr O'Dowd should be standing up for their community and not letting personal beliefs hinder their mandate.

"Knowledge is power when it comes to them and in the end he doesn't have the knowledge of what we really want and who we really are," she said.

"They say there are more important things but I don't think they realise how important it is to people like us."

Mikayla said the worrying part for them as Ella got older was teaching her to treat everyone with love, respect and equality, "but at what point is she going to turn around and say 'but you're not [treated equally]'?"

"There's so many kids being brought up in same-sex relationships - and I didn't realise how many until we had her," she said.

Knowing that Tony Abbott's sister is gay and he still won't change his mind, Mikayla said it was obvious the Prime Minister-elect didn't understand the situation either.

"With him not accepting it I think it limits the changes in society as well, because in the end there are people looking up to him and his views," she said.

Mr O'Dowd stood by comments he made during the campaign that he would change his mind when his electorate signalled a want for change.

Gladstone residents first rallied for marriage equality last November when about 110 people, including the Glossops, gathered in Apex Park.

Do you think gay marriage should be voted on in the next term of Parliament?

This poll ended on 12 October 2013.

Yes. It's way past time gay marriage became legal. - 57%

No. There are more pressing issues to deal with. - 38%

I don't have an opinion either way. - 3%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Topics:  gay marriage gladstone ken o dowd lnp marriage equality

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