The ARIA awards this year, well attended by big names in the entertainment industry, had a common thread above and beyond that of music. Throughout the course of the event various celebrities used their time in the spotlight to voice their opinions about same-sex marriage. The ability to have a platform from which to express an opinion about marriage is a privilege which was denied to the majority of Australians when the plebiscite was voted down. According to Chris Kenny of The Australian:
You would think it was the most pressing issue facing the nation and the music industry.
Troye Sivan received an award and said it was all about showing gay or LGTBQ kids that they can make music too. Fair enough. Well said — although the fact that gay kids can succeed in music and the arts — or anywhere else — is so obvious and accepted that it hardly needs saying.
Kylie Minogue was on stage in a T-shirt promoting marriage equality and made her pitch too.
And when it came time for Sia to accept an award from overseas, she had gay activist Angie Green appear on her behalf and make a speech about gay marriage. “This award is for every non-hetero and gender diverse person who can currently not marry the person they love in this country,” she said.
Initially, it is somewhat disappointing to see an event originally intended to recognise the artistic achievements of established and emerging Australian artists become a time for political propaganda, with only one side of the marriage debate presented. These tactics are representative of something even greater, and present a giant paradox:
The same advocates who want this message and this issue to dominate a nationally televised event like the ARIAs, argue against a plebiscite.
Their faux argument against the plebiscite is that the public discussion will be too divisive and do harm to young people. Yet they trumpet the issue and promote the debate at every turn.
The “socially acceptable” echo-chamber of the ARIA awards demonstrated that same-sex marriage activists don't mind having the matter discussed in public, it's just that they only want their own view expressed.
Music is supposed to be a means of expression for the diverse feelings and sentiments and stories which reflect the breadth of human experience and where individuality is celebrated. Unfortunately, its most prestigious awards night became an event where only the sole “acceptable opinion” was allowed to be uttered.
But Australians know better than that. Australians will not be dictated to by the celebrity class. Regardless of forum or platform, the idea of same-sex marriage must and will be openly discussed. As citizens of Australia, it is our duty to ensure that this is done in a constructive manner that will create positive outcomes for our country. Because of this, it is necessary that we are given a plebiscite, so that not only celebrities and politicians, but the average man, is given a voice.