How to have a proper conversation

We know that some 21% of Australians speak a language other than English at home. And despite the presence of compulsory voting in Australia, the issues of disparity in political participation due to language are not often discussed in our political life. It is easier to find a sausage sizzle than ready translations of political information in Australia.
Understanding the nuance and ramifications of the current marriage equality debate is challenging enough for most of us, even before you consider the issues of language and culture. For one contributor, there was no simple yes/no answer, no reductive way to feel, only complexity and ambiguity.
In lieu of saying something either too short, or too long, or too hard to explain, this contributor kindly offered us this translation of this section from the marriage equality campaign guide FAQs into Malay. Take it as an offering, a gesture, a question or a challenge – however you will, this is more than just a translation of text, it is a spotlight on how important language is to our political process in Australia.
At the contributor’s preference, we share here anonymously.

Why is marriage important?
Marriage matters to Australian society. It is the secure foundation for loving, committed couples. Everyone in our families, communities and country should be free to marry on those terms. Currently, lesbian and gay couples are excluded from marriage — which means their loving, committed relationships are not treated the same as others, and do not have the equal status under the law. Put simply, marriage is important in Australian society and important to LGBTI couples. Furthermore, winning the freedom to marry will enrich the lives not just of gay people, but of the wider community: Family members, friends, coworkers and fellow citizens. It’s about the father who will be able to walk his lesbian daughter down the aisle. The grandmother who will be able to dance with her gay grandson at his wedding. Australians will be able to celebrate all of their friends’ love and commitment equally. Businesses and community members will benefit when all families are strengthened, affirmed and included. Each new generation of Australians does their bit to advance fairness and equality. Affirming all couples’ freedom to marry says that we are a country that believes in treating people equally — that we value love and commitment and believe every Australian has the right to happiness.
Mengapa perkahwinan penting?
Kepada masyarakat di Australia, hal perkahwinan adalah penting terutamanya kepada pasangan yang berkomitmen. Semua ahli keluarga, komuniti dan negara haruslah bebas berkahwin. Sekarang, pasangan lesbian dan gay dikecualikan daripada perkahwinan. Ini bermaksud hubungan mereka yang penuh kasih dan komitmen tidak diberi status yang sama seperti orang lain. Mereka just tidak mempunyai status yang sama di bawah undang-undang. Di Australia, perkahwinan adalah perkara yang penting dalam masyarakat Australia dan penting kepada pasangan LGBTI. Lebih-lebih lagi, memenangi kebebasan untuk berkahwin akan memperkayakan kehidupan bukan hanya untuk masyarakat LGBTI, tetapi just masyarakat umum, ahli keluarga, rakan sekerja dan warganegara Australia. Contohnya, kepada seorang ayah yang bersetuju untuk anak lesbian perempuannya untuk berkahwin, ataupun nenek yang boleh menari dengan cucunya gay di perkahwinannya. Warganegara di Australia bolehlah meraikan majlis perkahwinan rakan-rakan mereka secara sama. Juga, bisnis and komuniti akan manfaat apabila semua keluarga diperkukuhkan, diperakui dan disertakan. Setiap generasi baru di Australia harus melakukan tanggungjawab mereka dalam memajukan keadilan dan kesaksamaan. Jika kita boleh menegaskan kebebasan untuk semua pasangan untuk berkahwin, it adalah refleksi bahawa kita adalah sebuah negara yang mempercayai dalam hak sama rata. Dan kita menghargai cinta dan komitmen untuk setiap orang Australia mempunyai hak untuk kebahagiaan.


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