Since time immemorial – well since 2004 when Facebook launched – we've been dumping friends with the stroke of a key. A heartbeat, a rush of blood, and it's done.
Christopher Wayne – one half of the talented, successful and 'killing-it-on-the-world-stage' Aussie export The Naked Magicians has penned a Facebook message acknowledging there are differing opinions on same-sex marriage and if the reader has a differing one to his, would they kindly un-friend him and move along. Now.
"I need you to speak up, unfriend me, and be gone from my digital and personal world... I wish for no association with those that oppose this, none."
The comment has drawn opposing opinions from those on the same (pro-) side of the SSM topic.
Mostafa Motaweh said "I'm a Muslim and I approve this message!".
Other messages of support included: Joanne Paxton: This comment is life. Ryan Copelin: I love you Christopher Wayne Skye Shead: Christopher Wayne for president Fez Faanana: Thank you Chris Travis Antles: You rock Mr. Wayne! Tim Howard:
… as a society we should no longer stand for homophobes, racist or intolerant people who don't respect other humans. Its time the homophobes and bigots of this country learnt what it felt like to be treated with cruelty for a change!!!! Maybe then they'll finally understand that their views kill people!!!!!!
The poor boy … at Aspley High school didn't survive school. He died because of ignorance and hate. Yet some of you straight people still think its okay to send out a survey on human rights, let alone vote no. how dare you, how fucking dare you!!!!
Anyone who votes no has blood on their hands, make no mistake about that!!!!
But not everyone agreed. Richard Fleck, said:
"Chris I have views that are different from yours and your right to say I have reasons, i promise you none of them are driven by hate as love is what fills my days. I have gay friends who understand my veiwpoint and love me back so im sad to see this judgement getting passed down on an opinion you probably dont understand if you feel this way. Love you man really do, your such a great guy but if you want to unfriend me because of this please at least say goodbye.
Christopher Wayne replied,
"Love you too. Fuck your viewpoint."
Others also disagreed with Chris.
I actually strongly disagree with this Chris. Now more than ever we do need to be befriending people that are opposed to marriage equality and other basic human rights. We should be actively trying to spark conversation with them surrounding these issues, engage in debate and ultimately try to enlighten them and help them to be more understanding, accepting and open minded.
By removing people from your life who have a different view, how will you ever hope to change their opinion and in turn change legislation. You should be encouraging people with a different view to you to speak up but not so you can remove them from your life but moreso so you can understand their view and strive to change it.
I support same sex marriage, but I won't get rid of the people in my friend list that don't. It just doesn't make sense to completely cut yourself off from an opposing view. I've given up trying to tell people how to think because it doesn't work. I'd rather lead by example rather than metaphorically punching someone in the face with my view. Humour is a far more powerful weapon as well.
Sweetheart, im proud of you for stating your position and standing up for what you believe in, but dismissing people from your lives because they believe something different from you makes you no better, just as equally closed minded and discriminatory.
I have many friends that I disagree with on many things, some of which are pretty major issues, but they are good people and I love them. Instead I'd encourage you to be gentle and have open conversations where people are encouraged to engage and discuss so that you can impart some of your passion with them. It can take time for people to change their minds, especially on big issues.Take the time and be patient with those not there yet xo"
A prevailing opinion among the 'dumpers' on the thread was they were 'sick and tired of the discussion' and that 'people don't change [their viewpoint]'.
However, there is evidence which suggests otherwise.
Last month the ABC reported HILDA report author Roger Wilkins says there has been a broad-based increase in support for same-sex marriage over the years, with the majority of both men and women now supporting the idea. Support in Australia for SSM has risen 4% since the last federal election.
No one on the Wayne thread raised two cases of high-profile politicians from differing parts of the political spectrum – both of whom disagreed with the notion of SSM – and presumably both of whom would be instantly de-friended ... possibly slammed as homophobes on the way out the door ... and of course couldn't possibly be voted for.
Unless they changed their minds. But you won't be around to see it. And you won't be friends anymore.
What do you do in your day-to-day life?I'm what's known as 'fulltime freelance' which is a fancy way to say I don't have a proper job! My current projects are the MELT Queer Arts Festival which I direct at Brisbane Powerhouse, and the Integrity 20 human rights conference/festival which I produce for Griffith University.