In the wake of the historic American Supreme Court vote making gay marriage legal all over the country last week, it seems we now know where the next battleground is in the quest for equality in the world. That place is Australia.
A cross party same sex marriage bill will be introduced when parliament returns on August 11th. Liberal MP’s Warren Entsch and Teresa Gambaro will forward the proposal alongside Labor MP’s Terrie Butler and Laurie Ferguson. They will be joined by Independent MP’s Andrew Wilkie and Cathy McGowan.
Opposition From Above
It is not clear whether a vote will actually take place, as not all private members bills get that far. There is also a chance is being hampered by Aussie PM Tony Abbot, who issued a statement which reaffirmed his support of the traditional form or marriage.
The statement noted the introduction of the bill does not mean it will go to a vote.
‘It is rare for a private member’s bill to be voted on and any bill would be subject to the usual process,’ the statement said.
That is what is called in political terms ‘kicking it into the long grass’.
There was however, support for the bill from opposition leader Bill Shorten, who stated that he hoped there would be a free vote on the issue.
‘It’s the outcome that is important here, not whose name is on the bill. Like millions of Australians, my first and only hope here is that we can make marriage equality a reality,’ he said.
A free vote, for those who don’t know, is a vote where individual MP’s can vote with their own hearts, rather by being tied down with orders from the party hierarchy.
If the bill does go to a vote, then there will be provision which states that that religious institutions will be allowed to refuse to perform ceremonies. These marriages, as in America, will only take place between consenting individuals, and performed by those who want to be there.
The Demand for Equality
Public opinion is only going one way on this one. They are demanding equality and they want our politicians to give it to us. Legislation from around the world shows that the church isn’t going to get the shaft on this one; they won’t be getting attacked in any way, shape or form. It will just be a case of those who want to express their love in a certain way get the chance to.
The Australian PM can baulk at it all he wants (and to his credit, the party will decide on whether to have a free vote on August 18th, whenever the inevitable vote takes place) but he must realise that he is a servant of the nation, and on a human rights issue like this, he must act decisively. He may not like gay marriage personally (and he has that right) but the ‘anti’s are risking finding themselves on the wrong side of history.
We stand the the LGBT community in Australia as they continue the fight. When they do eventually get the right to marry whoever they want, then we will be just as happy as we were last week in America.
Since then, he has specialised in articles on the battle for equal rights for sex workers, sexual health, as well as bringing the readers fun news from around the world. He also has a major interest in LGBT rights, and is an active campaigner in this field.
When he isn't fighting the good fight, he enjoys spending time with his girlfriend, and young daughter. He also enjoys reading and taking long walks.
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