Marriage Equality in Australia

With the Federal Government mail out commencing on Tuesday 12th September, it’s timely that we explore some of the dimensions of this issue.

World Attitudes to Marriage Equality

The map below shows where in the world it is legal for same-sex couples to marry, together with variations in public sentiment about the appropriateness of same-sex marriage. For example, in many countries throughout Asia and Africa it is still illegal for same-sex couples to marry, whilst in Europe, North America and parts of South America it is accepted practice. Public support of marriage equality is greatest in Europe and North America, and least in south-east Asia and India.

Click on a country on the map to see the relative sentiment towards same-sex marriage.


Current status

Source: Wikipedia user Kwamikagami. Retrieved 2017/09/08. Link.

Public sentiment

Marriage open to same-sex couples
Recognised when performed in certain other jurisdictions
Government-court legalised or announced intention to legalise marriage
Civil unions-domestic partnerships
Unregistered cohabitation
Same-sex union not recognised

Source: Wikipedia

In Australia

There have been attempts in the past to legalise same-sex marriage in parts of Australia, notably in Tasmania in September 2010, which lasted one week before the then Federal Government overruled the legislation.

In fact, until the Marriage Act was changed by the Howard Government in 2004 by defining that marriage was an act between a man and a woman, same-sex marriage was not specifically outlawed in Australia. Note that the Marriage Act Amendment Bill in 2004 was passed with bipartisan support.

According to the 2016 Australian Census, there were 46,800 same-sex couples in Australia, a jump of over 13,000 since 2011.

A recent poll (September 5th, 2017) by the Essential Report saw that 59% of Australians support changing the law to allow same-sex couples to marry.

As we near the time to indicate our preferences regarding this issue, the raucous debate between same-sex marriage and religious freedom is becoming louder. It’s fascinating to compare the liveliness of this debate as it plays out on the social media platform of Twitter. The map below shows geo-located tweets regarding #MarriageEquality and #SSM (in blue) and #religiousfreedom (in red). Start tweeting to get shown on the map.

Source: Twitter

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