There are people who mean well, and then people who don’t use sense. Australian journalist Mia Freedman wrote about the country’s lack of marriage equality using a poor example. It’s still not legal in Australia (WTF?) Freedman is a cis-het married mom of three and her children are why she supports marriage equality. Being an ally is always important, especially a cis-het white woman. She makes the mistake of implying that marriage equality isn’t merely a “gay issue.” That’s where she starts to go off the rails a bit. Marriage equality is completely a “gay issue.” Straight hetero-normative couples have nothing to lose or gain with marriage equality. Same sex couples have everything to lose or gain.

Married for Marriage Equality??

Things only got worse when Freedman started the hashtag #Married4MarriageEquality. True to form, people on Twitter were relentless. And honestly? Freedman deserved it. The hashtag is tone deaf at it’s best and downright rude at it’s worst. It manages to take something that is important to the gay community and make it about straight people. In case Ms. Freedman was unsure, opposite gendered couples don’t need marriage equality. By creating this hashtag, she is centering the point of the fight on allies. Yes, allies are often crucial to the cause. However, they are not the ones at the center of the cause. This problem is rampant, and it is important to check the people doing it.

Naturally, many Twitter users felt the hashtag allowed cis-het couples to mock same-sex couples. While Freedman was trying to be helpful, her execution was way off. Freedman believes the government should focus on marriage equality the issue is bigger than gay people. WRONG. It is entirely about gay people; straight people are marginally affected.

Mia Freedman has since apologized for her tone-deaf message about marriage equality.

Seems like allies have to learn when to step back and have it not be about them. The entire point of being an ally is to amplify marginalized voices. Screaming over the people you’re trying to support doesn’t make you helpful, it makes you a jerk. Not everything is about you. So stop trying to make it so, you look ridiculous.

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(Image: Twitter / Mia Freedman)