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ripped
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17 Feb 2014, 3:00 am

While I have no personal interest in the issue of gay marriage, it is part of a far greater issue and that is the one of fairness.

Every single member of Australia's gay and lesbian communities are fully entitled to be legally married - but only so long as their partner is of the opposite gender.

Therefore the ban on gay marriage is gender based discrimination at its most basic level.

This form of discrimination is already illegal throughout Australia, and if the gender discrimination laws are to have any real effect, then the ban on gay marriage must be lifted.



All comments welcome.



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17 Feb 2014, 3:36 am

I agree that the Australian ban is unfair. Here in Washington state, we legalized gay marriage by popular vote. How strong is the potential pro-gay marriage vote in Australia?


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17 Feb 2014, 4:17 am

Kraichgauer wrote:
I agree that the Australian ban is unfair. Here in Washington state, we legalized gay marriage by popular vote. How strong is the potential pro-gay marriage vote in Australia?


It is quite popular at the grass roots level but is not a variable that seems to swing people's votes and so no major party is making a big push for it. It is unlikely to pass through the parliament with the conservative government in power. On the Labor Party side of the chamber, it is a conscience vote issue (although it is a part of the platform) and thus combined with the Liberals creates a pretty solid parliamentary barrier to it being passed.


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ripped
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18 Feb 2014, 9:46 pm

The conservatives squeal every time human rights are mentioned.



visagrunt
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19 Feb 2014, 11:31 am

The culture war has already been won, the losers simply have yet to recognize that the crest of the wave has passed.

I would not be in the least surprised to see the Supreme Court of the United States finally wash its hands of the issue with the Utah appeal and issue a judgement with the same scope as Loving v. Virginia. Once that takes place, Australia will be alone among the five leaders of the Common Law world (US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand).

The only question in my mind is whether the Courts or Parliament will act, first. But I confidently predict that within 5 years, this will be an historical question for Australia.


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19 Feb 2014, 3:10 pm

I am quite confused why these things cause big issues and I think its because I don't respect the idea of marriage to begin with. My parents didn't stay together and I don't believe humans are monogamous. I am also not religious. Now I have always thought of marriage being a necessary step in starting a family but in recent decades that is no longer the case because many people have kids without getting married.

Anyway, aside from the equality issue, I don't understand why gay people want to get married anyway. If two people love each other and are secure about each other do they really need a ceremony? It is like standing up in front of lots of people and saying: "Look we are a couple and we want you all to observe that fact"

Maybe its my AS that makes this whole thing bizarre. But when you really think about it marriage is a bizarre idea.



adb
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19 Feb 2014, 3:15 pm

Robdemanc wrote:
I am quite confused why these things cause big issues and I think its because I don't respect the idea of marriage to begin with. My parents didn't stay together and I don't believe humans are monogamous. I am also not religious. Now I have always thought of marriage being a necessary step in starting a family but in recent decades that is no longer the case because many people have kids without getting married.

Anyway, aside from the equality issue, I don't understand why gay people want to get married anyway. If two people love each other and are secure about each other do they really need a ceremony? It is like standing up in front of lots of people and saying: "Look we are a couple and we want you all to observe that fact"

Maybe its my AS that makes this whole thing bizarre. But when you really think about it marriage is a bizarre idea.

It's not a matter of the ceremony. It's a matter of equal treatment under the law. There are many legal advantages to being married.

And it's about bigotry. Bigotry sucks.



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19 Feb 2014, 5:05 pm

visagrunt wrote:
I would not be in the least surprised to see the Supreme Court of the United States finally wash its hands of the issue with the Utah appeal and issue a judgement with the same scope as Loving v. Virginia. Once that takes place, Australia will be alone among the five leaders of the Common Law world (US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand).

The only question in my mind is whether the Courts or Parliament will act, first. But I confidently predict that within 5 years, this will be an historical question for Australia.

Ireland has a Common Law legal system, too. They're having a referendum on same-sex marriage next year, so hopefully that'll get passed. And with all the recent federal court rulings in the US overturning state bans, I agree that within 2 or 3 years the US Supreme Court will legalise same-sex marriage nationwide there. Which could leave Australia alone among the major English-speaking countries. :(

...

Regarding Australia, in 2013 the High Court of Australia made a couple of important rulings in this area. In February they concluded that a ban on same-sex marriage does not constitute sex discrimination, because it applies equally to men and women. And in December they ruled that only the federal government has the authority to legalise same-sex marriage, as per the Australian Constitution.

Opinion polls show majority support for same-sex marriage in Australia. However, given the makeup of the Australian parliament, I can't see it being legalised here before the next election in 2016 at the earliest. I'm confident that it'll be legalised one day here, but goodness knows when that'll be.

Oh well, at least New Zealand is only a three-hour plane trip away (longer in the central and western states, though).


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19 Feb 2014, 6:37 pm

adb wrote:
There are many legal advantages to being married.

What are these, in Australia?



adb
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19 Feb 2014, 7:11 pm

yellowtamarin wrote:
adb wrote:
There are many legal advantages to being married.

What are these, in Australia?

You know, I have to admit that I got distracted by the subject of gay marriage and lost the part about this being a thread about Australia. I have no idea how things work in Australia.

I just really dislike bigotry and unfair treatment under the law, so I tend to pipe up on this issue even when I shouldn't.



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19 Feb 2014, 7:45 pm

Robdemanc wrote:

Anyway, aside from the equality issue, I don't understand why gay people want to get married anyway. If two people love each other and are secure about each other do they really need a ceremony? It is like standing up in front of lots of people and saying: "Look we are a couple and we want you all to observe that fact"


Exactly. Marriage is a pointless relic. I wonder if this issue isn't part of a way for former leftist parties who have sold out their working class heritage, looking for issues which feel progressive, but don't adversely affect the interests of big capital.

If you want to understand australian attitudes in general, keep in mind that Rupert Murdoch owns most of the print media, controls much of the agenda of the national broadcaster, as well as the vast majority of the pay tv market. Most of the culture war narratives are transplanted straight out of the U.S.A, with one major difference; there is very little public discussion of abstractions like liberty. Washington has Australia right where it wants it: grovelling, at odds with its neighbours, with U.S control over Australian MSM economic & geopolitical narratives. But hey, at least we're allowed to debate things that don't matter.

This is interesting: Institute of Public Affairs.



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20 Feb 2014, 7:10 am

adb wrote:
yellowtamarin wrote:
adb wrote:
There are many legal advantages to being married.

What are these, in Australia?

You know, I have to admit that I got distracted by the subject of gay marriage and lost the part about this being a thread about Australia. I have no idea how things work in Australia.

I just really dislike bigotry and unfair treatment under the law, so I tend to pipe up on this issue even when I shouldn't.

Each state has its own laws regarding relationship benefits, and so does the federal government. Same-sex couples are generally treated as de facto couples, who have different rights in different states. Nationally, after two years of residing together, de facto couples – opposite-sex and same-sex – are treated as married couples in several areas, including tax, social security, superannuation, immigration and citizenship (the two-year period of living together isn't necessary for married couples).

But because same-sex couples can't get married, they're still unable to receive certain benefits, such as workers' compensation death benefits, pensions for the partners of Defence Force veterans, and access to carer's leave (according to the this article from The Sydney Morning Herald).

Adoption and surrogacy are a bit more difficult, since some state restrictions are based on the sex of the couple rather than marital status. Of course, another legal discrepancy exists for same-sex couples married in other countries, whose marriages aren't recognised in Australia.


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20 Feb 2014, 7:47 am

Yes, the culture war is over. It's just a question of how much damage traditionalists do to their religion before they give up on it. It's certainly turning off the young people.