‘Think of the children’ is a common refrain from people opposed to same sex marriage.
So journalist Patrick Abboud took to the streets of Australia to see what children actually think about same sex marriage.
‘I’m going to put rainbow flags in people’s letterboxes to encourage them to vote yes for gay marriage,’ Archie Lo, age 6, says.
‘Where’d you get that idea from?’ Abboud asks.
‘I just got it from myself, got it from my brain,’ the Archie replies.
‘All they’re doing is getting married. They’re not doing anything to us,’ Archie says.
‘When we got our ballot papers through, he said, “Can I fill it out? Because I want to have my say,”’ recalls Ping Lo, Archie’s mother.
‘I’m going to fly a big rainbow kite in the air,’ Archie announces after delivering his rainbow flags.
‘Do you know what? If you guys come back and film me, more people will see me and my kite on TV, and more people would vote yes. Wouldn’t that be so cool?’ Archie tells Abboud.
‘I believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman. And for a child to grow up they should have a father figure and a mother figure,’ says Monique Bartolos, age 14, who was marching at an anti-same sex marriage rally.
Bartolos was the only young campaigner allowed to speak with Abboud at the rally, as the other parents refused.
‘We also approached the Coalition for Marriage, the Australian Christian Lobby, and Vote No Australia,’ Abboud says. ‘All of them declined, citing fear of repercussion and bullying from supporters of marriage equality.’
According to polls, most Australians against same sex marriage are older and live in rural areas. So Abboud drove five hours out of Sydney to meet a teenager living in one such rural community.
14-year-old Jim is trying to change the opinions of the older people in his community.
‘At first we were unsure of whether Jim should play a role in this space,’ Jim’s father, Ian Campbell, explains. ‘We were fearful of what might come back at him.’
Jim began an Instagram account using photos of locals he’s convinced to sport rainbow socks for the cause. Using the hashtag #SocksForSameSexMarriage, Jim hopes to convince more people to vote yes on marriage equality.
9-year-old Eadie, who lives in ex-Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s district, is writing letters to Abbott to voice her disagreement with his beliefs.
‘Dear Mr. Abbott,’ Eadie writes. ‘I’m writing to you because I believe it’s unfair that you are treating people differently because they are gay.’
‘Eadie is a 25-year-old trapped in a 9-year-old’s body,’ Eadie’s mother, Peta Morris, says with a laugh.
‘At my school we are taught not to bully, and you are bullying the LGBTQI community,’ Eadie’s letter continues. ‘Don’t you feel bad for hurting their feelings?’
‘I think we need to hear kid’s voices more. Let’s ask them the things that they’re really thinking about,’ Peta Morris says. ‘Children are incredible because they see the world as they see it. There is no filter.’
Watch the full video below to learn more about the amazing kids campaigning for marriage equality in Australia.