Books and herbs, Books

The Equal Rights Blog Hop: Same Sex Marriage in Australia.

For this hop, I wanted to write about something that is important to not just me but to a very large number of Australians: the legalisation of same sex marriage in Australia.

Until very recently, gay marriage was not in the top ten of things federal Australian politicians were concerned about. The states, however, had a different attitude, and in June, Tasmania's upper house (Senate), passed gay adoption rights. This was an important step forward, particularly when considering the history of Tasmanian equal rights, and noting that Tasmania was the last state to abolish the draconian sodomy laws. The Tasmanian lower house (House of Representatives) followed suit soon after, allowing gay couples to adopt children "previously unknown to them".

Around the same time as the Tasmanian adoption bill passed, the South Australian parliament had a bill put to it by Susan Close, seeking to legalise gay marriage. Her reasons for proposing the bill were personal due to her brother, who is gay, not being able to share the same marriage rights as she has. While South Australia has been first to implement many positive laws and bills, (including the first state to abolish the sodomy laws and make rape in marriage a criminal offence [refs.]), it's unknown whether the same sex marriage bill proposed by Ms. Close will pass. In any case, as the Gay News Network states, Little by little we are winning the war. The support for equal marriage reform grew by two votes from the 26 senators who backed marriage equality last year.

KRudd Federally, however, both sides of Australian politics have remained staunchly unwilling to consider legalizing gay marriage, while the Greens and other independants try to get the matter the hearing it deserves. Then a few weeks ago, in June 2013, former Prime Minster and then-current backbencher, Kevin Rudd, made a post on his blog in support of gay marriage. One of the stand-out quotes from the post is the following: "I for one have never accepted the argument from some Christians that homosexuality is an abnormality. People do not choose to be gay. The near universal findings of biological and psychological research for most of the post war period is that irrespective of race, religion or culture, a certain proportion of the community is born gay, whether they like it or not. Given this relatively uncontested scientific fact, then the following question that arises is should our brothers and sisters who happen to be gay be fully embraced as full members of our wider society? The answer to that is unequivocally yes, given that the suppression of a person's sexuality inevitably creates far greater social and behavioural abnormalities, as opposed to its free and lawful expression."

Many thought that this was simple rhetoric. After all, Mr. Rudd was a backbencher now, with little influence upon the Labor Party currently in power and there was an election looming, called for September 14th, 2013. And then, the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, called a leadership spill. I will save you the details of Australian politics, but in essence, what happened was that the members of the Labor caucus went into a closed meeting to vote on who would lead the party. As this was the fourth time this had happened in Ms. Gillard's tenure as PM, Australians rolled their eyes heavenward and shouted at their televisions that the spill better be finished before the rugby or Masterchef started. Thankfully for all fans of rugby and cooking, it was, and the upshot was that Julia Gillard was ousted from her position as Prime Minister by Kevin Rudd, just as she had ousted him a term ago.

What this means now for the GBLT community in Australia is that there is more than a spark of light at the end of the tunnel. Mr. Rudd has made his position clear, and, in the days after the spill on 26th June, 2013, he was even clearer on the subject of gay marriage. It has been stated that Mr. Rudd has offered to hold a referendum if Mr. Abbott continues to refuse a Liberal Party conscience vote or, if not a referendum, a plebiscite. These are huge leaps forward for equality. A referendum is the voice of the people, not the politicians, and a plebiscite is much the same, being a direct vote on a matter that could amend the constitution or law.

Whether one likes Mr. Rudd or not, I think that, as Susie O'Brien for the Herald Sun wrote:

"In the end, it's just about recognising that marriage matters and that love should be legally recognised in marriage, regardless of the gender of the couple.
It's really not a big deal, so let's just get on with it."


As part of this blog hop, I will give away one ebook copy of my current release, "City of Jade," a historical m/m romance set in the twelfth century, on the Silk Road from Constantinople to Hangzhou. Just leave a comment to enter the draw!

And to enter the main Queertown Abbey Blog Hop draw, answer this very simple question in a comment. What was on TV the same night as the Labor Party leadership spill?

  • Current Mood: calm calm
I had no idea all of this was happening in Australia. Thanks for the great post :)

The answer to your question What was on TV the same night as the Labor Party leadership spill? is: Rugby and Masterchef
Thanks for reading! It's definitely getting more and more positive for the GBLT community here and I'm very glad to see it.

And correct! :)
OMG, I can't answer that question because that night we went to the school musical. Go into theatre with one prime minister. Come out with another. It was a bit surreal.
(hint: answer is in the post.)

OMG. That would be VERY surreal. I had that when I went to the US - leave Australia while an election is held, spend 3 weeks away with there being no government majority, come home to a Labor government.
What IS the labor party leadership? M ignorant; I'm American!
Labor is one of the two major parties in Australian politics and the current party in power. They are slightly leftist and the opposition is the Liberal party, which has nothing to do with being liberal as a person, and they are the right wing party, like the Republicans. Whoever leads the Labor party is the one who runs the country--the Prime Minister. So the previous leader, Julia Gillard, was Prime Minister and then she called a vote to make sure she was still the leader. The leader of each party is determined by the party, not the people. The people vote for the party. Julia Gillard was voted out by the party and replaced by Kevin Rudd, who was PM prior to Ms. Gillard, who ousted him before the end of his term, just as he did to her a few weeks ago.
I'm not always up on date about what is happening on the other side of the world so I thank you for sharing with us all what is happening.

Thank you for taking part in the hop and for the generous prizes you are offering up.

humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com
Rugby and Masterchef was on.Thanks for the post,great information.
Rugby & Masterchef. Thank for sharing what is going on in Australia. I hadn't heard about any of it.

Rugby and Masterchef were on TV that same evening. Thank you for your informative blog post and for participating in the hop!

awindandbooks at gmail dot com
I do remember seeing something about that--but glad nobody missed their rugby or Masterchef. I enjoyed your post--and it was educational too. Thanks for posting.

romanczukc AT yahoo DOT com
Good for you guys in Australia! Like you said, bit by bit, we're winning the war. :-)
I don't really hear a lot about Australia over here so I am glad to see that your country is making such strides. It may not be perfect but its a start.
OceanAkers @
Thanks for sharing the awesome news! I'm glad we're slowly but surely making progress.