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Australia: New South Wales gets legal go-ahead for equal marriage bill

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  1. Jock S. Trap 27 Jul 2013, 10:11am

    Excellent news.

    Fingers crossed that this will pass and set a standard for all of Australia.

  2. Common sense 27 Jul 2013, 10:44am

    its going to be a race. Rudd has said he will introduce it if elected and Farrell will probably press ahead with their own bill. one cautionary note though. Tas passed an equal marriage law that was blocked by their upper house. The NSW upper house has 19 coalition MLCs plus 2 hunters and 2 christians. Greens and Labor make up 19 but Labor is dominated by the Catholic right in thrall to Joe de Bruyn. And old Joe and Tony Abbott would pull out all their stops to block Farrell.

    So it ant over til the fat lady sings as they say.

  3. Godric Godricson 27 Jul 2013, 10:58am

    Still, it sounds positive and the monolith starts to crumble!

  4. Robert in S. Kensington 27 Jul 2013, 11:56am

    Good luck to NSW! The idea of a national referendum for a human right is repugnant in my view. A whipped vote has drawbacks especially if there are significant numbers to call for a repeal and get a law overturned. The best and fairest way is a free conscience vote, so I strongly disagree with Rudd.

    1. Common sense 28 Jul 2013, 2:24am

      Rudd supports a conscience vote and has said he personally will support equal marriage in a conscience vote and hopes to see one introduced after the election.

      That’s not where the problem lies though. Abbott has refused to allow a conscience vote for his MPs and without that it is difficult to see how there could be any way to get an equal marriage bill through, especially when you also consider that the Catholic right of the ALP will vote against. Abbot is in a similar thrall to the Catholic Church as are most of his front bench so it is unlikely that he will have some epiphany in support at any future point.

      Unless Abbott changes his mind, which looks very unlikely, the only option is to go for a referendum and with polls showing three quarters of Australians now support equal marriage most people expect the referendum would be won.

      So, it is a pragmatic solution to an impossible situation forced on the Australian parliament rather than evidence of Rudds lack of support

  5. GingerlyColors 27 Jul 2013, 12:29pm

    Hopefully this will spur the federal government in Canberra to introduce same-sex marriages nationwide. If this happens then Australia will become the first continent to enjoy same-sex marriages throughout.

    1. I’ve just left a comment saying pretty much exactly what you did, but I promise I didn’t copy! I hadn’t even read the other comments before leaving mine! Great minds think alike and all that!

    2. I think you’ll find that mainland Australia (which is what is being discussed here) is not a continent. The continent of Australia includes a number of other independent island states, many of which I suspect will not be seeing SSM for a long time!

      1. GingerlyColors 28 Jul 2013, 12:22am

        Mainland Australia is actually considered a continent nowadays although at one time it was considered to be largest island in the world. Australia forms part of Australasia which includes Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and various other islands. Incidently Papua New Guinea (Australasia) makes up the eastern half of the Island of Guinea, the western half being occupied by Indonesia which is considered part of Asia. Therefore the Island of Guinea straddles Asia and Australasia.
        The largest island in the world is Greenland which at 840,000 square miles is less than a third of the size of mainland Australia which is almost 3,000,000 square miles in area.
        Greenland, like the Faroe Islands is an autonomous area of the Kingdom of Denmark. Unlike Denmark proper which introduced same-sex marriages last year Greenland and the Faroes have yet to introduce same-sex marriages although registered partnerships are allowed in Greenland.

        1. Common sense 28 Jul 2013, 2:29am

          Note that in Australasia the overwhelming number of nations currently criminalise homosexuality including Solomon Islands, Nauru, Tuvalu, Papua New Guinea, Kiribati, Palau, Cook Islands, Samoa and Tonga. The regional struggle is therefore squarely for decriminalisation rather than equal marriage.

          Maybe some day,but that day looks far off at this point in time

    3. I think you’ll find that mainland Australia (being discussed here) is not actually a continent. The continent of Australia includes a number of independent island states, in which I suspect SSM will be a long time in the coming !

      1. Island States? Only Tasmania is a separate island. Australia is bigger than Europe. It is considered to be a continent.

        1. Sorry but that is not correct. I meant states as in countries and not States of mainland Australia. There are a number of these independent islands which make up the continent of Australia, for example Timor, Papua New Guinea, Maluku Islands. It’s a common mistake to think of mainland Australia as a continent in itself. Given the cultures of some of these islands, I suspect that Europe is more likely to be the first continent where SSM is legal all over, but I will certainly not hold my breath for that day!!

          1. Common sense 28 Jul 2013, 2:37am

            Well said. To add to my list of countries that criminalise homosexuality (PNG, Solomon is, Tuvalu, Nauru, Palau, Tonga, Samoa, Kiribati and the Cook Islands) there are some pinpoints of hope. New Zealand is a beacon of gay rights and Vanuatu, Marshall islands, Niue, Tokelau and Fiji recently decriminalised homosexuality completely. East Timor, New Caledonia, Guam, Micronesia and the French, UK and American overseas territories all decriminalised a long time back.

  6. Good luck NSW! While ideally the whole country would get same sex marriage at the same time, it may be that doing it this way, one state/territory at a time will spur the othesr on, or even spur on the federal government to do it.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 27 Jul 2013, 3:57pm

      I hope it does it faster than the U.S. where it’s also a state by state issue, very slow and frustrating. One of the downsides of federalism. I’m glad we don’t have it in the UK.

      1. To be honest, though, it’s not that different here in the UK where same sex marriage is not a reserved UK-wide matter and it’s becoming law step-by-step, much like in the US.

        1. No, here it is only Northern Ireland where it is not being introduced. They’re usually 20 years behind the rest of the Western world on these issues

  7. PeterinSydney 27 Jul 2013, 9:18pm

    A small glimmer of hope to restore Australia to the civilised world. If it was up to Abbott we would not get equality until after Uganda gets it.

    1. Common sense 28 Jul 2013, 2:51am

      If is up to Abbot it would NEVER ever happen. He sings to the Vatican hymn book of gay hatred and that will never change. One reason why most Australians want to see a spill to bring Turnbull back.

    2. If Australia don’t decide to deport asylum seekers to Papua New Guinea then perps we can consider them a part of the civilised world.

      1. Common sense 30 Jul 2013, 6:50am

        While I have strong reservations about the “PNG solution”, the reason Australia has done it coupled with a big increase in uptake of asylum seekers from refugee camps is to kill the trade in human smugglers completely. The boat transports that cross from Indonesia have resulted in the humanitarian tragedy of drowned refugees as the smugglers abandon the boats and sometimes scuttle them with refugees on board within Australian waters. Stopping the boats has become the number one top priority in Australian politics and Rudd is gambling that if refuges think that people smuggling will only get hem to PNG and that the only way to get to Oz is through the UNHCR that the demand for the boats will drop off completely as it did under Howard when they turned the boats back.

        Problem is the policy seems to be unravelling. Fiji has objected and PNG say they will not pay for resettlement so if demand for the boats does not drop off substantially soon the policy may have to be abandoned,

  8. On one hand I applaud this… on the other hand it raises concerns.

    NSW is right to proceed with this, to establish change and policy to give LGBT Australians equal rights.

    I would like have seen this happen nationwide now the Julia Gillard is not in office any longer. My concern is will we see the pace slowed because individual states won’t pursue equality without pressure, The frustration of having to watch it play out like the US, state by state rather than equality being dealt with unilaterally on a federal level may make the road to equality harder for some LGBT Australians as a consequence.

  9. I will believe it when it happens. NSW was slow to decriminalise and will be even slower with this. The Labor party is controlled by the Catholic right, and the Liberals are not much better. Add to this the terrible `independents’ and you get the picture.

  10. It’s not marriage. If it’s not recognised by other states and territories and not recognised on a federal level, then it’s not marriage.

    It’s also not better than nothing.

  11. Colin (London) 31 Jul 2013, 8:06pm

    This is it…I knew Australia would rise to Equality.

    Yes early days but the argument is out there and good people will make this happen one way or another.

    May this be fast tracked for out good Aussi friends. Great news indeed.

    1. Or the right is equal, or is not right. That goes for everyone.

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