Same-sex marriage…


By Kate Leaver
Same-sex marriage

Australian Capital Territory? More like Awesome Cool Territory. (You are most welcome to use that little zinger in whichever way you see fit.)

That peculiar little kidney-bean pocket of land that hugs Canberra into NSW has just done something rather spectacular. The ‘Same-Sex Marriage Bill’ made it through the Legislative Assembly (AKA the place where politicians vote on stuff), making the ACT the first region in Australia to legalize same-sex marriage.

I’ve got my dancing shoes out, the rainbow streamers ready and my GBFs are on stand-by, obviously.

But there are a couple of Grinchy, grumpy, backward men who still might get in the way. Our PM Tony Abbott and Liberal Leader Jeremy Hanson are leading the Equality Anti-Hero brigade, and fellows – I’m shaking my head and my fist in your general direction.

Hanson, the charmer, described this bill this morning as “a bandwagon hurtling towards a cliff”. I prefer to think of it as a glittering carriage hurtling towards the most fabulous wedding in all the land, but that’s where Jez and I disagree (oh, and also, on most other things ever).

The PM’s still woefully attached to his opinion that same-sex marriage is wrong/sinful/unnatural/offensive to his delicate hetero sensibilities and promises to block the bill when it reaches the High Court (AKA his kingdom of terror while he’s in power).

So naturally, I’m torn. It’s a joyous sliver of progress that this bill’s even bouncing around Canberra at all. But with the PM hovering over the legislation like a thunderous little black cloud, it’s a very cautious internal celebration. The thing is, years ago perhaps PM Abbott represented a decent fraction of the Australian public in the fear of same-sex marriage (something I will truly never fathom).

But now? Now that he’s finally in the big chair? He’s still peddling something the majority of Aussies have let go. He’s protecting the naïve and the alarmist, the homophobic and the narrow-minded.

He’s fighting to keep loving couples who are equal before the law in so many other ways from entering into marriage - an institution Tony obviously thinks is sacred, and exclusionary.

The mandate he claims to have on this issue is dwindling – they’re dying, changing their minds, or realizing that a couple of dudes or a couple of ladies getting hitched doesn’t actually affect their lives in any meaningful way whatsoever. I’d suggest Tony do the same, and quick-smart – he’s got to leave time to buy his sister the perfect wedding gift.

What do you think about same-sex marriage? Are you in the “Come on, get on with it, it’s time” camp, like me? Will you celebrate by buying a one-way ticket to Canberra for your GBF’s wedding? Let’s chat today – you can find me on Twitter at @kateileaver or get our own lil debate going here in the comments.