Will Australia legalise same-sex marriage?

News, Politics, World — By on May 19, 2013 3:54 PM


Prime Minister Julia Gillard is under pressure to introduce legislation to allow same-sex marriage after Minnesota became the 12th US state to legalise it.

Australia’s closest neighbour has also passed a marriage amendment, tempting couples with a trip across the Tasman to be legally married.

Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young told the ABC that Australia had been beaten by New Zealand to enact the important social reform.

Greens MP Adam Bandt has called for his Marriage Equality Amendment Bill to be brought on for a vote in the House of Representatives on June 6.

Minister Bandt believes that it is extremely beneficial for all Australians.

“This vote will ensure every MP’s position is clear before the election,” he said.

Adelaide south retail worker Emma Cossey is outraged Australia that so many other places are allowing same-sex marriage to be legal.

“Australia is so behind when it comes to same-sex marriage,I don’t understand how we can be behind, especially when we copy a lot of the things that America does, why aren’t we copying their changes to equality,” Ms Cossey said.

“Even New Zealand is allowing it now, when is the government going to listen to what the public wants and make changes.”

In an August 2012 poll, 64 per cent of the Australian public supported same-sex marriage, however so far this does not seem to be enough to boost government support.

The Netherlands led the way in legalising gay marriage, passing a marriage amendment in 2001.

Ilona van Zuilekom, from Warnsveld in the Netherlands, is a supporter of same-sex marriage.

“When people are happy, that is the most important thing,” Ilona said.

“We didn’t vote for same-sex marriage, it was left up to our government and I think they made the right choice.”

The passing of the bill in the Netherlands paved the way for nine other countries to legalize same-sex marriage.

Just six months ago, Minnesota voters rejected a ballot that would have ensured that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage was enshrined in its constitution.

While some states may be moving backwards in the reform of equality in marriage, 11 other states in the United States have legally changed their constitution or added laws allowing same-sex marriage.

With the upcoming Australian election just over 100 days away, same-sex marriage looks to be a hot topic in the weeks to come.

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