Australia Says YES To Same Sex Marriage

Australia Says YES To Same Sex Marriage
Image: Getty

From September to November, Australians had the opportunity to have their say on whether same-sex couples should be allowed to marry in an expensive postal survey that turned out to be just a little bit of a shemozzle. Today, the Australian Bureau of Statistics released the official results of the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey.

And it’s an emphatic “YES”!

The Australian political landscape has been an absolute nightmare for the last four months (you can argue longer if you like). Human rights violations on Manus Island, the citizenship cataclysm that Scott Ludlam began… Yet there is one issue that has dominated the landscape: whether same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.

Now it’s official.

At 10am this morning, ABS head David Kalisch announced that the majority of Australians who participated in the survey want same-sex marriage to be legal. 7,817,247 people responded “yes” which worked out to 61.6% of the total. Every state and territory recorded a majority yes result over of over 60% with the exception of NSW which had a majority yes result of 57%. Almost 80% of eligible Australians returned their survey.

What Does This Mean For Same-Sex Marriage Now?

The result of the postal survey is non-binding and the Australian Government is not legally bound to legalise same-sex marriage.

However, WA Senator Dean Smith will introduce his private members bill to make same-sex marriage legal tomorrow, November 16. Previously, the Government has stated that they will facilitate a ‘free vote’ or ‘conscience vote’ on this, or a similar bill, where politicians will be allowed to vote based on personal preference, rather than party lines.

His draft bill has been floating around for a couple of months and, at its most basic level, suggests changing the terminology in the Marriage Act from “between a man and a woman” to between “two people”.

It really is that simple.

There are other changes in the draft bill, such as those who have the authority to carry out the marriage process. If you want to see the draft bill, you can head here. You can find a more detailed breakdown of the survey results on the ABS website.


    • They already have fucked it up!
      If the politicians are so ‘in touch’ with their constituents, then they shouldn’t have needed to run the wasteful plebiscite, and just bloody well passed legislation!
      Coming from Tasmania, I’m sure there is plenty of things that could have been done in our budget with the $122 million.

      • The fact that Tony Abbott’s electorate voted 75% yes tells us all we need to know about how in touch with their constituents our MP’s are.

        • Yeah I know. it just staggers me the decisions that are made ‘in our best interest’ (war, taxes, budget, etc). But something a majority (and that can be said now without doubt) of people wanted was too hard.

          Do they not know how good they would have actually looked in the public’s eyes if they actually had the guts to pull the trigger on legislation?
          People would have almost forgiven Turnbull for how badly he cocked up the NBN (almost).

        • Note that the survey doesn’t tell us how important this issue is in relation to all other political issues that might affect a person’s vote.

          If we assume Tony Abbott has the votes of the 25% who voted “no” in his electorate locked down, he would only need to convince one third of the remainder that some other issue was more important to hit 50% support while still opposing marriage equality.

      • The point is they are not in touch, they never have been. At least the plebiscite/survey was a way to spell out public opinion for them in a way they can’t refute. If only more legislation could be left up to public vote

      • While I agree with you 100%, people aren’t considering this from the politicians point of view. Which is pretty basic – they want to get re-elected next election.

        As they would see it, just changing the legislation like we think they should have risks pissing off all the hardened No voters in their electorates. With a lot of seats decided by under 5% last year, they aren’t going to openly risk pissing off 40% of their voters, so have done it this way to offload that blame to us. And to do that, don’t care that its cost $122m to do so.

        Its stupid, but its how politics work. In the end, as much as we dont like them, they just want to keep their jobs.

        Don’t sell pollies short, most aren’t as stupid as people think. But they play a far different game to the rest of us, and it often looks bizarre to us.

        • But by that logic aren’t they openly pissing off the other 60%? Therefore guaranteeing they won’t get re-elected? Because I definitely blame them for dragging my LGBT friends through the mud. There is no way they’re getting my vote next election.

          • No, they aren’t, because the Yes vote won, and now that’s all people will remember. If the Yes vote had lost, they’d have the same excuse they now have with the No lobby – they’re working to the will of the majority.

            That’s what I’m saying – they’ve offloaded the excuse to the general public, hoping the losing group wont backlash next election. They do it all the time (eg Telstra, NBN, utilities) and can usually hide the impacts for years, its just that this is was an issue that didn’t follow party lines, and was far more polarising. And harder to hide one way or the other.

            To be clear, I think the plebiscite was a massive waste of money that never needed to be spent, and agree that its been dragged on far too long and effected far too many that didn’t deserve it. I’m not supporting them, I’m just pointing out that there are reasons why it happened this way.

            But it was a political move to reduce the risk of losing votes. That’s how Government works.

    • Based on its long and proud record of not-fucking-things-up, I have great confidence in this government’s ability to get it done.

    • Knowing our Government, we’ll be set up for a simple changing of lines that (whilst being costly to change) will future-proof us for the foreseeable future…
      …And then they’ll find some way of incorporating the existing & dated copper lines into it.

  • Hope the division this whole farce created was worth it.

    Government should have just made a decision either way and stuck to it instead of this whole bullcrap, it’s what they are paid to do.

    Instead because of this survey, I’ve seen friends and coworkers turn on each other. Which to me is ridiculous, considering they already knew where each other stood before this whole mess, yet now because of it they have a leg to stand on to berate their former friends and coworkers calling them bigots and such.

    Heck, this has even happened within my own family.

    Well done.

    • The division is only there is you apply religion and other irrational arguments preventing another citizen from obtaining the same rights as someone else

        • Well opening a can of worms; What is your logic based, factually corroborated, and nonreligious reason for denying another citizen the same rights as someone else?

          • I will bite with the biggest one

            Lack of transparency or for that matter a concrete description on how the law will be changed. Its all fine and dandy to say yey same sex marriege has passed! Its another to see the nitty gritty of the actual fine print.

            There are obviously other against views on this but this is usually the biggest concern for the no camp thats not related to religion. You are working under the assumption that just because some one voted No means they automatically are against same sex marriage as opposed to seeing some problems with how this plebiscite was run. Now i am sincerely hoping the next answer doesnt follow the same dismissive script i come to expect.

          • Thanks for the link. Admittedly I did not read all of it fully, but from the sections I did see, I do enjoy the provisions made and how it seems to be done with the intentions of all people involved.

            Next question is though, how long until a handful of higher ups decided that religious freedom is discrimination and get it changed?

          • Next question is though, how long until a handful of higher ups decided that religious freedom is discrimination and get it changed?

            I think you’ll find we have quite a large number of politicians who’ll stop any changes like you describe from passing into law. The bill being put forward by Dean Smith has support from Labor, Greens, NXT, Derryn Hinch and a numbe of Coalition members.

          • There is literally no reason to answer that because you have already decided that whatever I say is, in your mind, illogical and irrational.

            But sure, why not, just so I can see you write “that is illogical”

            So, humans came about over billions of years of evolution, the purpose (if you wish to believe that there is even a baseline purpose) of which is to further a species survival in the current climate and environment which it finds itself in, essentially pruning branches that hinder that process whilst nourishing and furthering branches that serve that process.

            So here, in the case of the SSM, we as a species, brought upon by evolution (which many biologists would agree was by pure chance) have decided to “normalise” a behaviour which in essence contradicts the very definition of the word with which many learned people believe and agree gave us the chance to exist in the first place.

          • So, marriage is about procreation then?

            My partner and I are unable to have children. Should we not be allowed to marry?

          • Never said marriage is about procreation. My example was about society as a whole normalising a behaviour which contradicts evolution

          • Marriage is a societal construct that has nothing to do with biology, so I’m not sure how it contradicts evolution. That’s like saying planes contradict evolution because humans never evolved wings.

          • @crotchdot I can’t actually reply to your comment.

            Misreading my comments, nice.

            1. Homosexuality contradicts the “purpose” of evolution
            2. Society normalises Marriage
            3. Marriage normalises Homosexuality

          • @nuffman I think we’re, on average, at the top of the pyramid of Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs as a species. This, and technological advancements, took us off the “evolution” track (for better and worse) a long time ago.

            People don’t need to stress about the perpetuation of the species in natural terms, we’ve had self-sustaining numbers for a long time. Because of this, we’re closer to the “esteem” and “self-actualisation” segments of the pyramid. This means, for example, that people are more free to pursue things like true love or true desires.

            You’re spot on that this will normalise behaviours. But those behaviours have been around for a long, long time. Instead of a person feeling like they have to hide this part of themselves from not just society but themselves, they can now freely pursue it.

            If you’re going to get semantic about evolution, I hope you appreciate the argument you’re truly making. We’ve veered from survival of the fittest in so many different ways (ways you’ve directly benefitted from), that the world would be unrecognisable to us today if we decided that we needed to revert back to and uphold that law.

          • @geometrics

            You, I like you. I will not respond, because quite frankly, I am out of my depth in everything you have said and it would be silly for me to.

            It has not changed my thoughts, but I have definitely learned something here and taken away something from your comment(s). Which is the whole purpose of discussion anyway, for that, I thank you.

          • Gotta agree with @geometrics, for whatever an anon’s opinion is worth. I do understand where you are coming from @nuffman because I held a similar opinion as a teenager many years ago, however there are countless examples of things that we have already normalised in society that directly contradict the “purpose” of evolution for many, many years now, and it has been a very long time since changes in society were last dictated by purely evolutionary forces. If we as a human race truly prioritised the purpose of evolution above all else we would be disinclined to devote any time or resources to helping the sick, the disabled or the elderly.

          • …homosexuality can be explained by kin selection. It’s not about “pruning branches”, sometimes looking after kids of relatives is as or more beneficial to gene fitness than raising your own kids (especially when we lived in much smaller family groups…).

            But that’s a furphy anyway. Marriage is a human, legal construct to formalise a relationship. The actual intent and purpose of marriage law has changed over time, from being a way to protect male-line inheritance to creating international/inter-tribal economic arrangements. It’s only really been about “love” in the last century or so.

            As a secular legal arrangement between two parties, there is no reason to deny a civil marriage to two consenting adults who are not in a relationship that is otherwise prohibited (incest, basically).

            And that’s it for today, I’m off to celebrate with people who helped campaign for YES and are very relieved today that another tiny step towards an equitable society has been made.

          • I think one of us has misread something, I didn’t say homosexuality is about “pruning branches”, I was speaking about evolution. Please clarify if I misread your first paragraph though 🙂

            “As a secular legal arrangement between two parties, there is no reason to deny a civil marriage to two consenting adults who are not in a relationship that is otherwise prohibited (incest, basically).”

            Yeah, I’ll bring this up, because why not, it’s good to discuss things openly and in a civil way. Homosexual marriage was once (and for the time being, still is) prohibited. Why should incestual relationships be? Two consenting adults who love each other? What’s the problem there? Actual question though.. Where does the line actually be drawn?

          • Why should incestual relationships be? Two consenting adults who love each other? What’s the problem there? Actual question though.. Where does the line actually be drawn?

            I actually appreciate you questioning the logic behind these things. Far too often people on the left are content enough with being on the “right” side of the argument that they ignore the consistency of their logic.

            I guess the line would be drawn here because any sort of procreation in this situation has a high risk of creating birth defects and disabilities. There are actually a list of names in each country you can’t call your child because it would ruin their life (I think Fuck is one, Hitler is another). I imagine the same logic is applied here, the risk is too high.

          • First of all, nice slippery slope, but that’s a terrible argument.

            Having two Mums or two Dads won’t leave a child with a higher risk of birth defects or incest associated issues. Marriage has a certain relationship to sex and procreation, and as such an incestuous marriage that might hurt the children of said marriage shouldn’t be allowed.

            Certain people will use this argument discussing gay marriage, and I would emphatically disagree, there is absolutely no proof that same sex parents have any negative effect on their children, and it indisputable that there’s no genetic effect on the child. Same family parents though? I think we all know what could happen there, the two are not comparable at all.

            Sure, you might argue that an incestuous couple might not have children, or that if they are incapable of doing so there shouldn’t be anything wrong, but normalizing and legalizing an incestuous relationship would potentially leave children of future relationships with issues, issues children of a homosexual relationship would not have.

          • Bud I think we got the whole “Procreation for the Continued Survival of the Species” thing covered. Like wayyyyyy too well covered . Like “plague proportions” covered. Perhaps more peeps having same sex marriage (or just relationships) just might slow our reproduction rates down enough that we may even have more time to find solutions to that inevitable cluster fk? Yeah I doubt it too, but stressing about humans “not contributing to the species” by having even more surplus population is suicidally stupid

        • “Polygamy has nothing to do with it, that’s just an argument from the conservative side to try to scare and bully people into voting no”

          Did I respond correctly?

          • No, no, you’re the one that said it. Please advise what is actually preventing people marrying multiple people? Because super conveniently almost all of the YES proponents ignore polygamy when they bash out an “equality” rhetoric.

          • From the text of the proposed amendments…

            3 Subsection 5(1) (definition of marriage)
            6 Omit “a man and a woman”, substitute “2 people”.

          • The issue, once again though is that, as the document reads, SSM is prohibited. But that has now changed. What’s stopping the next push being polygamous unions, etc.

            Where does the line stop?

          • To support your “slippery slope” argument, are you able to show any other country where the legalisation of SSM has directly led to the legalisation of Polygamous Marriage?

          • @beeawwb

            Just because it hasn’t happened yet, doesn’t mean that it won’t though, and yes, it also doesn’t mean that it will.

            Took roughly 30 years for the first time SSM became legal in the modern world.

            But borrowing from the Yes campaign. Love is love, who are you to deny basic civil rights to people, if it’s two consenting people, who cares, it doesn’t hurt anyone.

            The exact same arguments can be made for most, if not all, other deviations of marriage can it not?

            I mean, it’s about marriage EQUALITY is it not?

          • Societal norms. Same sex marriage is acceptable to society, as evidenced by this result. Polygamy and various other things aren’t. It is theoretically possible that, at some point in the future, some of those things may become acceptable to society. At which point there will be another debate, possibly another vote / survey / whatever, and the definition of marriage might be changed again to keep it in step with the society to which it applies.

            Bit there is no slippery slope here. Same sex marriage does not bring us any closer to polygamous marriage. We can have same sex marriage without polygamy, just as we could have had (and some places do have) polygamy without same sex marriage.

            Marriage isn’t some kind of absolute, fixed, unchanging monolith. It’s an institution that serves a purpose in society. Like other institutions, it changes over time to serve the needs of the society it serves. .

          • @nuffman – Well, then all you have to fear is fear itself.

            When legislation comes before the parliament to allow polygamous marriage then – and only then – will your fears be open. But hey, just because it hasn’t happened in any country in the entire world*…

            *South Africa is the only country to currently allow for both same sex marriages and polygamous marriages, but the provisions come under 2 separate acts (The Civil Union Act of 2006 and the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act of 1998 (Polygamy came first!)) and you can only be married under 1 law at any given time.

          • @nuffman

            I’m actually proposing polygamy be legalised.

            Go on, I will await any carefully crafted reasoning why gay marriage is something consenting adults can do, but polygamy somehow is not.

          • @beeawwb

            and in the 90’s the exact same remark could have been said about SSM. All you are doing is rehashing the same sentiments from then hehe

            And also, Polgamy is legal in 58 countries

          • @nuffman Yes, the same thing could have – and was – said in the 90s. Which is why Howard amended the Marriage Act to explicitly state that Marriage was “between a man and a woman.”

            And yes, I’m aware there are 58 countries that currently support polygamous marriages – usually for traditional or religious reasons. I checked before asking my question. The point I was making is that in countries which have legalised SSM – none – have led to the slippery slope of allowing polygamous marriages. And in the one country that allows both (but not at the same time) polygamous marriages came first. A slippery slope argument only really gains weight if there’s historical precedence, of which there is currently none.

          • It sounds like your line of reasoning is based in a fear of change, and a fear of humanity. You could apply the same reasoning for changing anything and I’m sure many people did in the past with other big changes, like “If we allow women the right to vote, next we’ll allow chimps!” The line stops at what society deems is normal and society changes. If polygamy becomes an acceptable norm then we’ll change the laws. Simple as that. There isn’t anything inherently wrong with that. It requires a certain amount of trust in humans.

      • They already have the same rights as everyone else. They can marry a person of the opposite sex, just like everyone else can.
        It’s the same in reverse too, everyone else can’t marry someone of the same sex, just like they can’t.
        This is equality, no rights have been violated here.

        • By that logic, there’s no reason not to change the law to allow same sex marriage. Everyone will still have the same rights after the law is changed.

          • Whether there are reasons to change the law is a different matter.
            I was simply arguing against the commonly misused argument about people not having the same rights, which is a fallacy. We DO all currently have the same rights.

          • No, as I’ve already stated, heterosexual people have the right to marry the opposite sex, just like homosexual people do.
            Aboriginal natives also get welfare that I can’t get, what’s your point? Are my rights being violated then?
            I love to play golf and the law permits me to do so. Serial killers love to kill people but the law does not permit them to do so. Are their rights being violated? Should we change the law so that they can also do what they love?
            Why is this even a rights issue? Does something automatically become a right when I want to do something but I’m not permitted to? So then I can just put out the “you’re violating my rights” card? Did you know Australia doesn’t even have a bill of rights? Who are you to go making up what is a right and what isn’t then? The only thing that is actually relevant here is what the law says. The law currently states that only people of opposite sex can get married so there is no violation of rights.
            Again, whether we should change the law is a different matter.

          • You’ve completely missed @braaains point. Homosexual Australians currently do not have the right to marry somebody that they are romantically and/or sexually attracted to; heterosexual Australians do have this right. Even though everybody is tossing about the word ‘equality’ here, you are arguing for mindless equality (treating everybody the same, regardless of what they actually want or need) when most people are actually arguing for equity (treating everybody fairly).

            Incidentally, the law has been in its current form for only just over a decade, back when John Howard decided to answer your question of “Who are you to go making up what is a right and what isn’t then?” with “I’m the conservative prime minister with a majority in both houses of parliament who doesn’t like the idea of gay marriage.” Prior to this point in time Australia did not have a definition of marriage within the relevant act, which was first put into place way in 1961.

          • And you’ve completely missed mine. Please stop making me repeat myself.
            Why is that a right? It is only a matter of law. The law permits two people of the opposite sex to get married. The law does not permit two people of the same sex to get married. Period. Allow me to quote myself too – “Who are you to go making up what is a right and what isn’t then?”
            John Howard was prime minister and had the authority to actually decide this stuff, as long as it gets passed through the rest of government. So thanks for giving a good example of someone who actually can decide what is a right and what isn’t.

            How can you call it equality if everybody isn’t treated the same? Interesting how you and many other people use the equality argument when it is convenient for you and twist its meaning in your favour or just don’t use it when it isn’t convenient.
            I also have many things I want/need, doesn’t mean I always get/have them. That’s life. Why should we cater to specific people’s wants/needs just because they make more noise about it? The law and freedom both have boundaries, learn to live inside them.

    • The division was already there. The survey brought it to the surface yes but legislation would have done the same thing.

      Whether the question was “how did you vote in the survey?” or “what do you think of the govt allowing same sex marriage?” the result would be similar – people with opposing views arguing. Nothing new about that.

      The survey was a waste of time and money to everyone but the politicians. Turnbull now has a politically expedient reason to push through legislation that he didn’t before. Job (almost) done and we can move on to other things.

    • The unification of Australians with a group that’s been villified for so long is worth the division between homophobes and people who get that homosexual relationships are real things that are just as valid as hetrosexual relationships.

    • It’s even created division within the religions themselves as there are many religious practising people that are for equality. In my experience of it religion was used as excise to vote No, those people that claimed in was against there religion probably haven’t been to church in years or decades.

      • Coming from a Christian (booo hisssss), when asked about divorce, Jesus, in Matthew 19 reiterated God’s purpose, of what we now know to be, marriage which was spoken about in the book of Genesis.

        I mean, if you base a religion on a guy, and his teachings to your lifestyle, then how you can vote yes is beyond me.

        The thing that irks me is this: Jesus preaches about love, he does not preach acceptance, the two have no correlation whatsoever. people need to get that out of their heads.

        Jesus did not accept the Roman’s judgement and sentence of him, but that didn’t mean that he didn’t love them, hence asking His father to forgive them

        • They pick and choose we all know that. Jesus said that thanks should be given to God around a tres with friends and family.
          You don’t see big business religion following that.

          My mother is quite religious but a modernist. Big John Paul 2 fan. She believes the bible is a book of teaching for the times it was written as that as times change the teachings should change to suit. Her church is a split for and against from what she tells me.

          The book is also written by other people. It’s their interpretation of events and what was said and interpretations can also be biased based in the era they were written In, I see no reason why religions cannot modernise and a lot of followers believe the same.

        • An interesting thing about the bible is that its translations upon translations upon translations. Seriously, google translate from english to another language and see how the meaning often gets warped and then extrapolate that out dozens of times across hundreds of years and cultures.

          This article was really illuminating:

          Here’s an excerpt from it explaining just one of the challenges translators of the bible faced:

          These manuscripts were originally written in Koiné, or “common” Greek, and not all of the amateur copyists spoke the language or were even fully literate. Some copied the script without understanding the words. And Koiné was written in what is known as scriptio continua—meaning no spaces between words and no punctuation. So, a sentence like weshouldgoeatmom could be interpreted as “We should go eat, Mom,” or “We should go eat Mom.” Sentences can have different meaning depending on where the spaces are placed. For example, godisnowhere could be “God is now here” or “God is nowhere.”

          None of us can really claim to know what Jesus did or didn’t do. Even the most devout and scholarly theists.

          I think the bible and religion can be used for good, and the moral framework for a lot of the new testament is a perfect jumping off point for shaping your own worldview and morality – I’ll probably send my kids to a catholic school because of this until public schools implement a similar morality / value based offering in their curriculums. But I also find it bizarre that many Christians read the exact words printed on the pages and miss the message of so many of these stories.

          I would argue that love and acceptance are, much like the man and woman in Jesus’ teaching, united. You can’t separate them. To truly love is to accept, and Jesus showed love through acceptance all throughout the bible. Funnily enough, Jesus pissed off so many of the higher ups in the faith because their interpretation of the bible’s teachings were too rigid.

          Ultimately it comes down to this, when you’re at the end of your life, which side of the good deed / bad deed fence do you think loving AND accepting these people you disagree with will land on? From what I learned when I was young, it seems like a total Jesus move to celebrate the love two people share, and to pay more attention to the content of their heart and soul than the shape of their bodies.

          • I like this a lot, and everything you said is completely true.

            It’s one of the reasons that I dislike such “basic” languages because of the constraints put on it.

            I always take it back to the original wording as best i can (that’s why things such as the Dead Sea scrolls are so important) and then go on from there.

            You have to be careful when speaking about accepting though as, you don’t have to accept everything about a person. Take the theif on the cross next to Jesus, he doesn’t accept his lifestyle decision he had made to get him to to that place in time, but still loved him and accepted him as a person

  • Well normally I wouldn’t be in for this sort of thing, but if everyone turns gay then I suppose its a good thing for planet earth, less humans is always good. So yay?… 🙂

  • Not as overwhelming as the media would have had us believe originally during the lead up. I wonder what the results would have been if it were compulsory voting. Either way this has no bearing on my life whatsoever.

    Not sure why I’m being downvoted. Other people’s sexual orientation has no bearing on my life. Why should I care who you love?

    • I imagine if you take out people 45+ older the results would be more favourable to the “YES” vote as fewer people of the younger generations are religious and do not want to encroach on other peoples personal lives by denying them basic rights. Largely(not all) older people(read: politicians) are gatekeeping this issue from being sorted out.

      • I am very surprised that the LOWEST turnout was actually the 25 – 29 year old segment. You’d think that’s the kind of age bracket where people are seriously starting to think about getting married, and thus most directly affected in terms of their (or their friends / family) right to get married. I would have expected that to be pretty close to the highest turnout, not the bottom.

        • But it’s also the age bracket to not really feel strongly I would think, younger and you got kids wanting to change things, older and you get more traditional people wanting to oppose it.

  • So we spent all that money on a postal survey to tell us what we already knew because it just returned the exact same answer as every other prior survey.

    What a crock of shit. They didn’t have a postal vote before taking us into WARS, for f*ck sake, but they thought they needed one for this.

    • Because they weren’t sure what the Australian public wanted, it’s not like we weren’t screaming at them and holding up signs or anything.. Bloody numpties.

    • Well this one lets them say ‘we fought it to the bitter end, but it was out of our hands’. Totally worth the money.

    • No we spent all that money to give the people a say on an issue they wanted to have a say on. The 80% turn out proves that.

      What is also amazing is the likes of the Labor party standing up and gloating despite:
      1. Doing nothing during their tenure of government.
      2. Wasting even MORE money by delaying and court action to deny democratic voting on this.
      3. Of the electorates that voted no the 9 top were ALP electorates from the west of Sydney which are enclaves of the “religion which cannot be named”.

      So the question is does Tony Burke, Chris Bowen, Jason Clare, Linda Burney and Ed Husic represent their constituents? Will they now vote against the bill as they demanded.

      Only 5 LNP electorates voted against.

      But of course these are all inconvenient facts to those who demonised the wrong people. The bigots were in their own backyard.

      It’s all very amusing.

      • There are lots of issues that people want to have a say on – why is this one so special that it warrants a vote when nothing else seems to?

        You’d think taking us into a war with Iraq – that caused vast amounts of human suffering and chaos that continues to this day – is a much more significant issue than letting some gay people get married. But where was my postal vote then? What about issues now like energy policy or trade agreements or budgetary issues? These are all of far greater impact to all of us, but we don’t get a vote.

        Now they’ve had a postal vote on this issue which is only going to impact a minority of people, how do they justify not having postal votes on all of the other, much more significant issues we face?

  • now watch as those idiots vote in laws that will roll back our anti discrimination laws

    I’ll believe Australia has made a step towards equality when it actually passes parliament

    • I am pro marriage equality, but I do think it should be a churches choice whether to offer the service. However the consequence of not offering said service to gay couples would be a form of discrimination and the church should lose its tax benefits.

      They should be able to have the choice, but there shouldn’t be benefits for those that want to discriminate.

      • I’m an technically Catholic and I am divorced. If I remarry I can’t get married in a Catholic church as divorce is against their teachings and they have the right to refuse.

        • My wording was in direct response to the article subject matter, I think that if any church discriminates then it should be ineligible for tax benefits, after all it gets those tax breaks because the public essentially foots the bill. If a church (regardless of what faith they may have) is unwilling to service the community then I don’t believe that they should receive the financial support of the Australian community.

          I think my opinion is a little bias as an Atheist; but as someone that can still appreciate the good that organised religion can still offer, I don’t want to destroy it, I just want it to serve people to the extent it claims it does.

          • Local sporting clubs receive government money. Usually in the from local councils or state governments. They have requirements for entry and can say no if you don’t got the criteria. Should they not be allowed to as well, they serve the community and receive public money as well.
            Being an atheist doesn’t bias you I am myself that’s why I believe in being fair to the churches not for or against.

            But sorry yes your response was to the article and so was mine. So a church shouldn’t be allowed to discriminate against same sex couples. But then they would still be allowed to discriminate against opposite sex couples (my example was one of many reasons they can say no) that’s not really equality.

          • You mean the highly regulated sport organisations that lose tax exemptions if they do not comply with the Ato’s rulings which includes discrimination of users (including usage of facilities)? That is a poor example.

            Churches can do good, but if they are unwilling to service the entire community then they should be held to the same laws as everyone else.

          • Churches can fall fowl of discrimination laws as well and have. Sure they may be covering different things but both parties receive public funding and can discriminate up until the laws allow. I don’t see why a church then must drop all discrimination lest loose public funding but other organisations are allowed.
            You act like they are some untouchable group when they are not they are regulated like everyone else. Yes reform is needed but if your going to say they can’t discriminate against any one for any reason then the same needs to apply for all other publicly funded group’s or else that’s not equality.

          • What other organisations get tax exemptions and funding while not having to comply with descrimination laws? I cannot think of any.

        • What? I am giving them the opportunity to fully express their religious freedoms, but in turn if that religious group decides it wants to discriminate then I don’t want my taxpayer dollars subsidizing its existence. That is not discrimination; discrimination would be if I said that they should be forced to adhere to a system that does not allow for them to hold their beliefs and practice them.

          What I am proposing is that they can tell same sex couples that they will not serve them, but in return that they should be treated like any other organised entity in Australia and be taxed as such.

          • I mean if I were having a bad day the Atheist in me would question why an international organised group needs tax benefits, but being fair means that concessions should be made.

            So yeah, I would allow churches that respect a fair marriage system to keep their tax breaks, but the ones that want to rail against it shouldn’t receive the tax exemptions at the cost of the Australian public.

            So they can have their choice, I am pro choice, but they can’t have their cake and eat it too.

        • How about this then, a new rule is added for celebrants. Amongst the many existing rules they have already they must agree not to discriminate based on gender configurations. That’s basically just flipping the existing rule.
          If your local religious figures want to marry you they can do what they do now, only instead of ending the religous ceremony with a legal marriage ceremony, the legal marriage would have to take place later in a courthouse or whatever.

          • Completely agree, a celebrant isn’t a religious entity and there for shouldn’t be able to no.

        • Thats an interesting argument. I had thought to be fair, if the law changed to allow SSM, any religious body would still have the right to refuse providing the service based on their beliefs. I didnt realise that being tax exempt held so much weight as to what they could potentially do.

      • That form of discrimination would be explicitly allowed under Dean Smith’s bill.

        Marriage celebrants who are also ministers of a religion (who will be known as “religious marriage celebrants”) are given the right to discriminate based on their beliefs. Any existing marriage celebrants from before the bill becomes law will also be able to register as religious marriage celebrants should they desire.

        Anyone wanting to become a marriage celebrant after the law is passed would not be able to discriminate, but they’d know that when applying rather than having it forced on them. So over time the religious category will reduce down to just ministers of religion.

        Tying tax free status to anti-discrimination would be a hard sell, so I wouldn’t try to tie the two issues. It would be nice to tie anti-discrimination to public money though, like the UK does: if the government out-sources running of a public hospital to the Catholic church, then it should be subject to the same rules as if it was being run by any other entity.

  • Now it’s official.Erm, it’s not. It will only be official once a bill is passed, this was just an opinion gathering poll.

  • I am waiting to see what Tony Abbott does… his electorate voted overwhelmingly against him with 75% Yes. A lot of conservatives had overwhelming swings… against them so if they keep kicking a stink. They might lose their next election.

  • So much wasted money on a no brainer decision, I thought the liberal party were meant to be saving the country money, not wasting it on a debate that if they were in touch with their constituents and accurately represented them would have been over a long time ago.

    • Saving the country money by buying copper and investing in last century telecoms.
      Saving the country money by detaining refugees overseas
      Saving the country money by giving handouts to massive mining corporations.
      Yes. LNP saving money once again

      • The LNP motive for the last 30 years is stripping the fat (and normally the important stuff too unfortunately) from everything it touches, in an attempt to make up for ALP over spending.

        Both coins are shit opposite sides of the same coin.

  • If anyone thinks a 61% result is a “no brainer” then you’re delusional. YES vote barely scraped in, all things considered.

    Lets get this shitty ass vote passed tomorrow and try and heal as a country.

    • That’s kinda of my thoughts. It was luckily a majority but it’s a small majority. I say there is still some fighting to be done.

      • This.

        An election with that kind of margin would be a landslide. If you look at the breakdown of the results by electorate, it’s 133 – 17. Imagine a parliament that looked like that. This is an enormous result.

  • Although a smaller percentage there were still a lot of people that didn’t vote. They are probably neither for or against and more in the don’t care category. So don’t just look at the 60% there is still another group that aren’t saying yes but more importantly aren’t saying no.

    • IF I had voted, I would’ve voted “No”. I kept out of it though because it has no impact on me. Trying to influence a decision on something that doesn’t affect me at all would make me feel like a bit of a meddling dickhead.

      • Also interesting to note. The areas with the highest no votes were our most ethnically diverse suburbs. I wonder how anti immigration supports will take that.

      • If something like this vote ever came up as a compulsory vote, You should consider voting yes as it would have no effect on your own life but would be a positive on countless others.

  • Well, I’m happy. As a gay dude, the whole ordeal has been draining. I honestly didn’t think it would get to me, because I’m fairly easy going, but having people argue about YOU without including you in the conversation wears you down.

    But today, I’m celebrating today. ‘Hardly’ a win or not, it’s a win for me regardless. Today, it’s out with the Metal and Synthwave, and in with the Kylie, Donna Summer and Beer. No shame 😀

    • Yes, because you didn’t have a point.
      It’s got nothing to do with what we love or what we perceive as rights, only what the law currently permits.
      Read my reply again, I’ve since edited it to be more detailed.

  • Huh, only ~39% deplorables… would have thought it was a higher percentage based on 51% of the voting public siding with ultra conservatives. Happy to be wrong!

  • Quick reminder marriage isn’t a human right, it’s a governmental privilege.

    Anywho, governments get out of our relationships reeeeeeeee

    abolish the marriage act 😡

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