Australian actor Michael Caton has called on Australians to vote “yes” in the marriage equality postal survey, saying the issue is about allowing everyone in our country to be treated equally before the law.
Caton, best known for his roles in Packed to the Rafters and the classic film The Castle, paid tribute in a video message to his friends Alan and John (pictured), who he first met on stage in the 1960s and have been together for almost 50 years.
“When I think of marriage equality I think of what it could mean for them,” Caton explained.
“They were together then in 1969 and they’re together now. John is 95, Alan is 88 and they live in a nursing home not far from where I live now.
“Wouldn’t it be wonderful for Alan and John, before they pass on, that they could have their commitment recognised by law?”
Caton, who lives in Bondi in Sydney’s east, urged people not to be swayed by opponents of marriage equality who were attempting to portray the postal survey as about issues other than the right of same-sex couples to marry.
“Get all these things out of your mind like religious discrimination, what we are teaching our kids in school, they’re just red herrings,” he said.
“This is not about that, this is about people who want to make a commitment to each other. Is that too much to ask?”
Growing up in Queensland in the 1940s, Caton says he had never met a gay person before moving to Sydney.
“I finished my high school education not knowing that homosexuality existed,” Caton said.
But as his acting career progressed he met more and more LGBTI people.
“I started to see them as just people and they became good friends of mine,” he said.
“I urge you, respectfully, to vote ‘yes’ for marriage equality.”
Time is running out to post your postal survey form if you haven’t already.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics has recommended the forms be mailed by this Friday, October 27 to ensure they’re received and counted before the survey closes on November 7.
The result will be announced on November 15.