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Australia As We Stand

Equally Wed - Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Netherlands celebrates a whopping 12 years of marriage-equality, Belgium 10 years and Canada 8 years… and yet we are still struggling to gain the same recognition here in Australia.With the recent bill introduced in the South Australian parliament it was looking like a step forward in the right direction, but with a 44 – 28 defeat opposing recognition of overseas same-sex marriages it is yet another setback.

Our rainbow crossing on Oxford St, a significant location signifying a great deal of struggle within the community, was ripped up in the dead of night.

Same-sex parents who have a child are forced to travel to the Births, Deaths & Marriages office to register their new born (no they don’t have it online for us) yet the forms for straight couples are readily available for download.

In a year where equality arrived in New Zealand, France, Uruguay, Brazil and a handful of states within the USA it is somewhat mind boggling we are still struggling to even gain civil unions in some Australian states.

>However, let’s look at some achievements related to equality so far;

In July the Australian government released new guidelines on the recognition of sex and gender.
The guidelines are designed to ensure that transgender, intersex and gender-diverse people have their gender and/or sex accurately represented in Australian government records.

A permanent rainbow crossing is to be installed in Summer Hill (yay)!

A poll shows 4 out of 5 Australians want the opposition Coalition party to grant its members a free vote, yet the promise that this will happen after the upcoming election doesn’t put much voter faith in them.

Just last week the NSW Youth Parliament voted unanimously: 72 ayes, 0 nos on the marriage equality bill.

New deputy PM Anthony Albanese states his party will push for same-sex marriage in Australia.

AND the facebook page “Gay Marriage Rights in Australia“ ranks as the number one political group on Facebook overnight after Rudd shows support for marriage equality.

It is hard to believe a country that has two well-known politicians with siblings who are outwardly gay are fighting their way up the ladder. Tony Abbott’s sister Christine Forster and Bob Katter’s half-brother Karl are both showing us that fighting for their rights will be a key issue in the next election.

Let's hope we can, one day; have our own special day and call it a wedding, just like Ellen and Portia a whole 5 years ago now.


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