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Same Sex Marriage in Australia


Graeme

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I've just seen an article on Tasmania's parliament voting to allow same sex marriage:

Same Sex Marriage Vote Succeeds

I should explain that in Australia, marriage is a federal responsibility, not a state's. However, the states can legislate on anything not covered by the federal laws and the federal marriage laws were changed a few years ago to specify that marriage is between a man and a woman. Therefore, it has been argued that that means that it is now possible for the states to define same-sex marriage because the federal government has explicitly excluded that category from what the federal law covers. That's only an argument, though, and it hasn't been tested in a court of law.

This does put pressure on the federal political parties, though, because there's a growing movement within the Australian Labor Party to make same sex marriage part of their official platform. There are also some members of the Australian Liberal Party who support the idea, too, which opens up the possibility of members voting against their own party on the topic. To be fair, there are some members of the Australian Labor Party who might do the same, because they're opposed to the idea.

I don't see anything happening quickly, but I can see that it's inevitable that Australia will have same-sex marriage in the near future. I'm thinking within 10 years, but that's just a gut feeling.

Oh... and just as a bit of trivia, Tasmania (whose parliamentary vote was what the article was about) was the last state in Australia to decriminalise homosexuality -- and that was in 1997. It's amazing how fast change can happen at times :hug:

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