As an accountant, I meet and work with a wide array of society.
I have a client who receives Cory Bernardi's weekly 'A Dose of Common Sense' newsletter to their e-mail inbox.
I have clients who could give away one singular rental apartment or an asset of their business and never even feel the slightest of pinches to their income, asset value or lifestyle - but in giving away that one thing could change a person's life.
I have clients who earn a good amount of money, but still identify wholly with anarchy and absolutely detest 'the system' that insists that things be legislated to within an inch of life.
I have clients who earn a grand total of maybe $25,000 per year, who Centrelink insists repay them for minor overpayments - as though the difference between $24,000 and $25,000 is unfathomably unfair and this person is taking advantage of the system. $25,000.
There are some days where I work with people who earn many hundreds of thousands of dollars every year, and then go on to the next client who doesn't even earn enough to touch above the tax free threshold.
I keep politics and opinions on life out of my work wherever possible.
I believe that every Australian has a right to financial literacy and financial representation should they desire it, and I believe that representation should be impartial and non-judgemental, whatever end of the financial spectrum they may be on.
I believe people have a right to be well informed about taxation law, regardless of whether I agree with their opinions on most matters.
However, there are time when politics and opinions have a fundamental effect on my work.
I believe every Australian has a right to financial literacy and financial representation.
That means every Australian. That means sex workers, people with disabilities, people who need Centrelink or other government assistance, whether in the short term or for life.
I do not believe that not having money means you have failed at life, at adulthood, or at anything else. I do not believe that needing assistance makes you a less worthy person for accounting services.
I do not believe that sex workers and people working in other marginalised or poorly perceived industries are inherently 'less than', and I believe in providing them services that encourage them to engage in the taxation system actively and with agency.
I also do not believe that same sex couples should be required to list as 'de facto' on tax returns when they are not allowed to engage in the institution of marriage and receive the societal benefits of true marriage - for example superannuation nominations, and a vast gamut of seemingly arbitrary and randomly applied medical exceptions.
The government touted the ability to list same sex partners as de facto partners on almost all government agencies as a step towards equality, and there may be times when it allows couples to engage properly in the legal system (for separations etc) or to take advantage of taxation laws (especially if they have children or a significant income disparity.
However I have also seen couples who are fundamentally still financially separate (living together, but paying their own shares of expenses and operating separate bank accounts) be told by Centrelink that the higher earning partner's income precluded the lower earning partner from receiving benefits - even though the entire reason for needing benefits was because they were still financially separate.
I do not believe that the government has the right to dictate to a group of people that they must have it one way for some things, but they cannot have it that way for other things.
I do not believe that the government is correct to give same sex couples legislative equality as though it's a gift (when it's just as often a burden or curse financially), but refuse to give them social, medical or societal equality.
I strongly and vehemently encourage you to vote Yes.
This is my belief from a standpoint of financial and societal equality, but it is also of personal affect to me.
If you vote No, I will probably continue being your accountant. I will continue being your accountant because I believe that every Australian has a right to financial literacy and financial representation should they desire it, and I believe that representation should be impartial and non-judgemental.
But I will also know that you, personally, voted against a thing that affects me, personally. Whatever your reasons for making that choice - even if your reasons have nothing to do with same sex couples and everything to do with what you might call 'political correctness' or 'keeping the government out of everyone's back pockets' - from my perspective the only thing that your choice does is refuse me a right that you have, because your feelings or opinions are more important than my equality.