Pensioners aren't cool enough

I think it’s wonderful that same sex marriage is coming to the political fore. Marriage equality is an important issue, one that I support, and I do not begrudge the three same-sex couples their dinner with our Prime Minister last night.

But why them? Why not, say, three pensioners who would like to discuss the fact that after working hard their whole lives they now can’t afford health insurance or dental care?

Last night Julia Gillard and her partner had three same-sex couples over for dinner at the lodge. The dinner was put up at the Press Gallery Midwinter Ball charity auction last year, and the activist group GetUp! bid $31,000 on behalf of these three couples as a way to bring attention to marriage equality.

This highlighted for me just how chic is has become to have a cause. The year before GetUp! won a surfing lesson from Tony Abbot on behalf of a refugee. Same sex marriage, refugees, climate change… these are all popular, even cool issues to care about. But who is putting up $31,000 as a publicity stunt on behalf of pensioners, or those experiencing ageism in the workplace?

Almost everyone in Australia has a family member or close friend who is of an age to be eligible for the pension. Quite a few will know someone affected by marriage equality, fewer are directly connected to a refugee.  Many people who support anti-climate change projects rarely leave the cities long enough to see the nature they are fighting so hard to protect.

Why are we so impassioned by issues with little or no connection to our personal lives? How do organisations like GetUp! choose who to support, and why haven’t our parents, our neighbours and our friends made the cut?

Find out more
Read the news article to find out more about same-sex couples having dinner with Julia Gillard, including the menu

The Prime Minister served liquorice allsorts ice-cream for dessert at her dinner last night. 

Do you think liquorice allsorts ice-cream sounds divine or disgusting?