Tatura’s Bill Heath, 54, has created an open letter urging the community to show their support for marriage equality.
Mr Heath said he had not always been a supporter of marriage equality, but as an adult had become more accepting and open minded of other people.
‘‘I grew up with a very narrow-minded view of what people were meant to be like,’’ he said.
‘‘You were meant to be at everything and do everything and I suppose I have come to just appreciate that there’s a diversity of people and that’s a good thing, we’re not all meant to be the same, and that’s the way life is and it’s the way life has evolved.’’
The open letter states that all couples should have the right to marry, regardless of gender, and urges people to be mindful of what sort of impact their conversations regarding marriage equality could have on others emotionally.
The open letter, created with support from Greater Shepparton’s LGBTIQ community, has so far collected more than 200 signatures.
‘‘I think it’s the right thing to do, to allow people to get married, so I wanted to show my support for that and give an opportunity for other people to indicate their support,’’ Mr Heath said.
‘‘It’s important that people come to be themselves and part of them coming to be themselves and accepting themselves is to be accepted by others.’’
Mr Heath does not identify as LGBTIQ and has no family members who do, but said this should not be a factor in showing support for marriage equality or any other social issue.
‘‘I think we need to be supportive and maybe openly supportive of things that aren’t necessarily just affecting us.’’
■People will start receiving the marriage equality postal survey from September 12 and voters are encouraged to post their forms back by October 27. Results are to be released on November 15. To sign the open letter, phone Damien Stevens on 0418511562.