Australia | Gay Marriage | Kevin Rudd | Melbourne | News

Thousands Rally for Marriage Equality Across Australia


Cities across Australia saw demonstrations on Saturday after a government panel rejected a proposed marriage equality bill. The rejection occurred the same week the Australian Capital Territory approved civil unions. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has said he will overturn them.

The Courier Mail reports: Equallove "Australian Marriage Equality spokesman Alex Greenwich said strong attendances by more than 2000 people at rallies in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, ACT, Adelaide and Lismore today to launch a national year of action showed positive community support.' I think the bill's rejection has re-energised people's commitment to marriage equality,' he said. He said same-sex marriage could become a key issue in the lead-up to the next federal election. 'The inquiry put on the official record thousands of personal stories about the way marriage discrimination hurts, harms and hinders same-sex couples, their families and the nation - stories we will continue to bring to the attention of politicians and the public,' Mr Greenwich said."

Watch video from the Melbourne demonstration, AFTER THE JUMP...

(image above by flickr user bsolah)

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  1. Well done!!!

    Posted by: Lou | Nov 28, 2009 7:22:53 PM

  2. Thanks for the news about LGBT issues in Australia. It often seems difficult to find LGBT news in Australian media sadly (although is pretty good).

    It's so pathetic we don't have same-sex marriage here. The Australian public broadly supports it (I think about 2/3rds or more) - we don't have anywhere near the same sort of opposition the US has - yet we can't manage civil unions or same-sex marriage.

    As far as I can tell, it's just these annoying conservative and self-centred politicians. Just because YOU believe marriage is between *sigh* 'a man and a woman' (so sick of hearing this) doesn't mean the rest of us do.

    Posted by: Tyler | Nov 29, 2009 1:45:00 AM

  3. Tyler,

    You are aware there are American states that have legal gay marriage and/or civil unions? Are you aware almost all American states allow gay adoption, even southern states with large numbers of evangelical Protestants?

    I live in Boston,Massachusetts where gay civil rights laws including marriage are similar to any other 'Progressive' jurisdiction in the world.

    Don't tar America and Americans with a broad brush. Most non-Americans have a nasty habit of doing that, mostly probably out of ignorance on how politics and law work in the United States.

    Posted by: John in Boston | Nov 29, 2009 3:49:30 PM

  4. shaddup, john in boston! Amurrica's a homophobic shitpile, and though it's not as bad as Iran (yet), it's pretty bad for america...I'd hope that iran wouldn't be the standard of normativity and fairness that we're measured against.

    Posted by: TANK | Nov 29, 2009 4:01:57 PM

  5. Tank buddy,

    I was nice and civil. Don't be a fuckin troll.

    Posted by: John in Boston | Nov 29, 2009 4:21:49 PM

  6. MOST of Earth is a pit for the majority of humans, including gays. Conditions for the average gay person in most of Africa, southeast Asia, China, much of Latin America, Eastern Europe/Russia, is far worse than conditions for the average gay American, Canadian, Western European. There are many shitty parts of these 'Enlightened' areas where it's not desirable to live if you're gay and want to live in or out of the closet.

    Wuddahya gonna do Tank buddy, pal, boss?

    Posted by: John in Boston | Nov 29, 2009 4:30:50 PM

  7. @John in Boston

    In countries where religious extremism is a fact of everyday life, there's more violence towards sexual minorities, whether they are committed by individuals or the authorities themselves. This is certainly true of the United States and Iran.

    And, yes, American fundamentalism is a very real and obnoxious phenomenon. There are "Kingdom of Heaven" types in this country who wouldn't hesitate to kill for Jesus. It is a horrible plague upon our house and should be condemned wholeheartedly.

    However, I do somewhat agree with you that we shouldn't jump to conclusions. A lack of political repression does not automatically mean that society is accepting of homosexuality. Same-sex marriage is recognized in Argentina, Israel, South Africa, and Nepal because of judicial action. Other Latin American countries will likely join them in the near future. LGBT rights is something of a fad with the ruling leftist parties in those countries.

    That doesn't mean these countries are necessarily great places to be gay in though. I think that's a far-fetched dissonance that perhaps gives public policy more power than it deserves. After all, a law is an instrument of the state. And not every incident of homophobia involves the state.

    Posted by: John | Nov 29, 2009 6:14:53 PM

  8. Uh oh. We have the flat earthers who are saying that gay persecution is Iran is like it is in the U.S., and those saying everything in the u.s. is spectacular. Look, John in Boston (unwadd those fuckin' panties, m'am), it is better for gay people in the u.s. than it is for gay people in Uganda or many other developing nations and muslim nations, but that's nothing to be proud of. Our standard should not be how it is in other parts of the world. If we're to be the beacon of human dignity and freedom that we aspire to be, then it's not going to come from comparing ourselves to anyone else. Rather, the metric should be the commitment to our founding principles of tolerance and liberty. We are lagging behind countries in terms of gay rights that we look down our noses at, and this is a great shame that all americans should feel distinctly unamerican about.

    Posted by: TANK | Nov 29, 2009 6:34:27 PM

  9. I think screaming for "same sex marriage" is a little hard to use to persuade the movable middle. "Marriage equality" sounds better. It's harder for a politician to be against "equality"

    Posted by: Traveler J | Nov 29, 2009 7:44:08 PM

  10. @ John In Boston
    Without meaning to sound churlish, your reply to Tyler actually indicates the lack of understanding that you have re the laws in Australia. Anyone who follows sites such as these from overseas certainly are aware of the current USA laws.
    Like you, we have gay adoption laws; like you, we have many states that allow gay registration of relationships for legal reasons. What we dont yet have is the equality of 'marriage' as such - that old 'different but equal' chestnut. That's what we are fighting against now.
    But in Australia, we already have had anti-discrimination laws for a many years now - personally, I am still stunned to find that the USA doesnt yet have any protection for GLBTI people in relation to employment discrimination - ENDA is only now being passed through your government? I find that extrordinary that it hasn't occured before this.
    I think that it's not necessarily Tyler who was expressing ignorance over the laws in the USA, but rather you expressing your ignorance of the current LGBTI 'friendly' laws in Oz. In some ways (but certainly not all), I think we are ahead of the USA there.

    Posted by: Greg | Nov 29, 2009 8:12:00 PM

  11. Good, Bad, Horrible, Evil, Super Duper Evil...

    The labels are all very subjective.

    I'll leave the moral judgments about other cultures to the usual suspects. I certainly won't go there because, as a member of a minority myself, I know demonizing and distortion when I see it. There's a history of colonial powers using the supposed "barbarism" of the people they want to conquer as a ploy to make mischief. And I am always skeptical when confronted with such arguments.

    Frankly, I am more interested in matters I actually have influence over. And hopefully, the State Department is following the same logic because we cannot get mired in this nonsense over who's nicer to their gays and lesbians.

    All I said was some Iranians and Americans have a common stance when it comes to employing religious fervor as justification for aggression against homosexuals. I am not saying I endorse their position over the U.S. on nuclear weapons or anything else.

    Posted by: John | Nov 30, 2009 2:55:49 AM

  12. Greg,

    I didn't mention Australia. My comments referred to U.S. laws and non-Americans perceptions, and frequent stereotyping, as I see it. I never said or implied Australia was backward regarding gay rights, or any other way for that matter.

    Employment Discrimination.

    Many laws that in other countries come down from the central national government are often handled at the regional state level in the U.S. There is no law at the federal level that specifically outlaws employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, however 21 states have state laws that do. Greg, employment discrimination based on race, gender, religion, even sexual orientation or perceived orientation, is rare. 99% of employers and 100% of legit employers are well aware of liability and lawsuits.


    I don't wanna talk with you anymore.

    Posted by: John in Boston | Nov 30, 2009 3:01:55 AM

  13. @Greg

    We argue law because it is the only factor one can measure with any accuracy. They are a bell weather of sorts. I am not suggesting laws don't matter. But legalisms are abstractions that can only get you so far. They are not a substitute for life experiences.

    And I think that's where many gays and lesbians err. These folks look at a city, region, or country's progressive laws. And then they draw some pretty strong conclusions from what is, after all, just a government's public policy paper. It doesn't reveal anything about the subtleties of the culture.

    San Francisco is a good example of this. Despite some very gay-friendly laws and a reputation for tolerance, the homophobia on the ground isn't any less virulent than the rest of America. You had a suburban mayor telling gays they're going to Hell last week. And there have been several high profile homophobic murders in the SF metropolitan area since 2000, including the horrific murder of Gwen Araujo.

    Posted by: John | Nov 30, 2009 3:26:12 AM

  14. "Amurrica's a homophobic shitpile"

    In the late 70's America was ahead of most countries when it came to gay rights, but in the interim we've stagnated, and sometimes reversed, compared to other industrialized democracies. Having said that, and having been an undergraduate in the late 70's, if you think Amurrica's nothing but a homophobic shitpile now, you have no idea how much progress there has been in the last decade. I have no doubt that within my lifetime (I'm nearly 50 years old) equality for gay people will be the law of the land in the USA.

    Posted by: RedCedar | Nov 30, 2009 4:12:49 AM

  15. "Having said that, and having been an undergraduate in the late 70's, if you think Amurrica's nothing but a homophobic shitpile now, you have no idea how much progress there has been in the last decade."

    I'm well aware of the progress that's been made, but that doesn't change the fact that America is a deeply homophobic country for one that was founded upon reason, and not religious extremism. We can't serve openly in the military, nor do we have a national employment nondiscrimination policy. It took until 2003 for state laws that forbade homosexual activity to be nullified...and in some states, we're barred from adoption and foster parenting; and in most we're legally barred from marriage. In 2009, we FINALLY got sexual orientation and gender identity included in the federal hate crimes law. Yes, there's been progress...compared to what benchmark, though? Nothing. Sure, it's looking good compared to nothing. I stand by my claim.

    Posted by: TANK | Nov 30, 2009 1:03:33 PM

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