Saturday, 29 June 2013

Marriage Equality - It Is Time To Make It Legal


Recently news came from New Zealand that same sex marriage has been legalized. Many same sex marriage supporters feel it's high time Australia got on board with this too.







It is looking like marriage equality is on the table for discussion again. A few days ago in Australia, citizens saw a change of leadership come down and Ms Julia Gillard outed as the Prime Minister. It was an event that Australians knew was always going to take place at some stage, because in 2010; right before the election Ms Gillard did the same thing to Mr Rudd who was Prime Minister at the time. Politicians in this country have always played the back-stabbing game. 

The good thing to come out of this is the possibility that this arguing back and forth about same sex marriage and the legalization of it may come to an end. Many Australian are sick of it and the lesbian and gay communities are more than fed up. With the news coming from across the Tasman sea regarding New Zealand giving same sex couples the right to marry has been seen as hopeful for the many supporters of this legislation. 

Mr Rudds sudden revelation that he wants to discuss same sex marriage rights could very well be a political stunt and a way to bribe voter in September to vote labour. Ms Gillard refused to consider legalisation of same sex marriage, which surprised many, as her partner's daughter Staci supports gay marriage. With Ms Gillard out of the top job, Mr Rudd has the chance to make many same sex couples in Australia very happy. The general consensus is that Mr Rudd needs to make a decision and get his people on board with this. What the public are annoyed with is constantly arguing and debating this is a total waste time. It is clear to everyone in this country that change will come. Several states in the US have legalised same sex marriage and others are planning to follow suit. New Zealand, who are one of our closest neighbors have passed this legislation. Why are the government stalling on an issue that is going to happen one day anyway?

If the opposition leader; Tony Abbott wins the election, he will not support the marriage equality bill. Voters have been aware of this for a while. Tony Abbott's two grown daughters are strongly supportive of marriage equality, however their father will not budge on the issue. Tony Abbott is not a stupid man, he's actually very smart and he must know that the legalization of same sex marriage is going to happen one day. He only has to pay attention to what other Governments all over the world are doing. Tony Abbott also does not need to consider the legislation at this time. In many political journalists' opinions' Australian citizens are far more concerned with the economy than same sex marriage. 

Voters know that Tony Abbott's main concern is getting Australia out of debt, which is what most Australians want. Ms Gillard and Mr Rudd have put Australia into billions of dollars worth of debt because this is what the Labour party do. Tony Abbot and the Liberal/National party will get Australia back in the black. This is what has always happened and this is probably why Tony Abbott will be Prime Minister in September. If Kevin Rudd could get off his backside and show that he is supporting same sex marriage rights and really fight for this legislation to go through, then he may have a chance of winning the election. 

Supporters of marriage equality are sick and tired of all the back and forth, especially when it's clear to everyone that passing this legislation is inevitable. It will happen one day. No one can say when or give a definitive time frame, but it will happen. Washington State recently legalised same sex marriage, so didi Canada and recently New Zealand jumped on the band wagon. Why delay this any longer? Australia should just make it happen.





Most voters cannot stand stand political stunts, however the lesbian and gay communities are kind of hoping that this one works. As much as they may not want another three years of a Labour Government, they want marriage equality even more and voting for Tony Abbott essentially means this arguing and debating will go on and on. This is about human rights and same sex couples should get the same rights as heterosexual couples. Love is love in whatever form it comes. 

The other hypocritical decision our wonderful Government made years ago was; if a same sex couple live together in a common law relationship, in the eyes of Centrelink, (which what Australia's Department of Social Security call themselves) and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO); they are treated like a couple. So if one or both partners are receiving Centrelink benefits, those benefits are adjusted and paid to the couple, not the two individuals living in under the same roof.  When a same sex couple lodge their tax return, they are treated as a married couple for taxation purposes. When a same sex relationship ends, providing the couple have lived together for over two years; if a property settlement is necessary or their are children and custody issue, the couple are allowed to file in the Family Court in the same way a heterosexual couple would. It would seem the next step would be to let these couples legally marry, but no; that is not allowed. Seems very hypocritical to have these laws and not give same sex couple the right to marry.




City Hall somewhere in California, the day same sex marriage was legalised


So it would seem as though supporters of marriage equality have a long wait, especially if Tony Abbott wins the election. Perhaps his daughters and his gay sister can convince him to re-think his stance on this issue. 


Update: On the 29 June 2013; Kevin Rudd has announced that the topic of same sex marriage go to a referendum. Whether this will happen or not remains to be seen, but if Mr Rudd were to push harder to get the Same Sex Marriage Equality bill through Parliament, this may help the Prime Minister win the upcoming election in September.

Update: August 11th, 2013The Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott face off in their first debate, Kevin Rudd pushes hard on the issue of same sex marriage legislation and announced his support for marriage equality. Will this seemingly, strong commitment win Kevin Rudd the election?


Now it's your turn, tell me what you think is going to happen and whether you agree with my little rave above: Express yourself by hitting the comments or catch up with me on Facebook or Twitter.


Sources:

Article in The Australian - Kevin Rudd Debates Gay Marriage

Article in The Guardian - New Zealand Same Sex Marriage Legalised

Article about Gay Marriage Rights in Washington State in the US
Same Sex Marriage Legal in Washington State US

Article in The Age
Kevin Rudd Talks About A Referendum


Recently I posted a rant on Bubblews about Same Sex Marriage and how I believe it is inevitable that it will be legal someday regardless of all of the arguing back and forth.



Further Reading: 

All Photo are from Wikimedia Commons, or Flickr and contain a Creative Common's Licence



Copyright © 2013 Janelle Coulton