Australia’s equal marriage vote has divided the country, and it seems it’s also been dividing families who hold opposing views too.
ABC News Australia brought together gay 24-year-old Russell and his father, who voted against same-sex marriage, for a video.
In it the pair discuss their opposing views, with Harold, the father, stating that marriage “is for a man and a woman to get married and have children.”
Russell, who has a partner, revealed why equal marriage is so important to him, saying: “I grew up in a family where my father got married twice, and is very happily married with his current wife.”
He added: “I have grandparents who have been married for 65 years, who are also very happy. The fact I get excluded from that sucks, because as a gay person I can’t even donate blood. I feel like I shouldn’t be excluded from being married just because of who I’m attracted to.”
Harold then explained his reasons for wanting marriage to remain between a man and woman, saying: “As the letter of the law, I think marriage needs to be kept separate, for a man and a woman.
When asked if he thinks it’s fair that he can marry the person he wants while his son can’t, Harold said: “Probably not.”
“I think it’s unfair that you’re not allowed to be a legal couple with your partner. I think you should be allowed to be with the person that you love, and be united with that person, but marriage is between a man and a woman.”
He then questioned why LGBT members “need to be labelled”.
“You’ve already labelled yourselves as different anyway, so what’s wrong with your union being different? We don’t run around going, ‘Oh I’m normal, Oh I’m straight.’”
He also asked Russell why he, and other LGBT members, can’t just “blend in with society”.
Russell hit back at his father by saying: “Being able to marry means I can say, ‘Yes, I am married,’ and people instantly understand and recognise the weight behind it. That’s why it’s such a hot topic. So many people have so much love and respect for this term, and we want a part of that.”
Later in the video, Russell asked the all important question: “If same-sex marriage is legalised, would you come to my wedding?”
Despite his opposing view, Harold confirmed that he would still attend his son’s and would even walk him down the aisle, but joked that he wouldn’t join him for the first dance because he “can’t dance.”
Anti-gay marriage supporters held a Straight Lives Matter rally, though almost no one turned up. Meanwhile, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has been forced to apologise after one voter noticed an ‘offensive’ word on his friend’s postal vote barcode.
The result of Australia’s poll is set to be announced on November 15.
You can watch Russell and Harold’s debate below: