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Marriage Equality Comes to Scotland

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

titleScotland joins England and Wales in welcoming marriage equality.

Think Progress reports:

It took ten additional months, but legal marriage equality has officially arrived in Scotland. The country’s parliament approved the law in February by a vote of 105-18, one of the strongest endorsements of marriage equality by any legislative body. Scotland joins its United Kingdom counterparts England and Wales, leaving Northern Ireland as the only part of the Kingdom that doesn’t recognize same-sex couples’ marriages.

These are civil partnership conversions – the first “new” weddings will take place starting on 12/31.

Interestingly, the first Scottish same sex marriage took place halfway around the world, in Australia.

Gay Star News reports:

Scottish citizen Douglas Pretsell has become the first of his countrymen to legally marry another man as Scotland’s marriage equality law comes into effect today. Pretsell married Australian man Peter Gloster at the British consulate in Melbourne at 11.01am today at the exact moment when Scotland’s equal marriage legislation came into effect.

And a new poll shows that marriage equality support has reached new highs:

A study by ScotCen Social Research released to mark the occasion shows that opposition to equality has dropped to a new all-time low ahead of the changes, with 68 percent in favour and just 17 percent opposed. The numbers are a marked change from 2010, when 61 percent were in favour and 19 percent against – and a seismic shift from 2002, when just 41 percent were in favour and 29 percent opposed.

Amazing – Northern Ireland, are you listening?

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Australia Marriage Equality Conscience Vote Called Highly Likely

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

Sydney, AustraliaIt’s looking like we might get another vote on Australia marriage equality shortly – this time a “conscience vote”.

Pink News reports:

According to lone Liberal Democrat MP David Leyonhjelm, who first announced he would introduced a same-sex marriage bill last month, it is “highly likely” the government will allow MPs a free vote on the issue. Senator Leyonhjelm told the Sydney Morning Herald that he has sped up the process, while he previously only planned to introduce the bill after a conscience vote was secured. He said: “I have heard from Liberal senators that a conscience vote is highly likely.” Despite 72% of Australians supporting marriage equality, with just 21% opposed, Liberal Prime Minister Tony Abbott remains staunchly opposed.

Amazing that a party can oppose something with 72% support. But then again, we see similar things here in the US – look at sensible gun legislation and the GOP.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Australia.

New Australia Marriage Equality Poll Confirms Strong Support

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

titleA new Australia marriage equality poll shows a similar level of support as a poll earlier in the week.

Pink News reports:

A poll has corroborated earlier findings that suggested support for marriage equality had surged. A Crosby Textor poll earlier this week found that 72% of Australians support the introduction of same-sex marriage, with just 21% opposed, despite continued opposition within the government. The figures had been markedly surprising, given the previous high had been 64% support.

How about some action from the Australian Parliament?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Australia.

Australia Marriage Equality Bill to Be Introduced by New Senator

Friday, July 11th, 2014

Australia MapSenator David Leyonhjelm plans to introduce a bill to recognize marriage equality.

Gay Star News reports:

Liberal Democratic Party David Leyonhjelm plans to move quickly to fulfill an election promise to push for same-sex marriage, with reports saying he will move forward with his own bill on the issue. Leyonhjelm is one of 8 senators from new parties that did not hold seats in the Australian Senate before July this year of who the Australian Government needs 7 to pass legislation if it is opposed by the opposition Labor and Greens parties. Leyonhjelm, a libertarian, had announced he planned to work closely in the Senate with Family First Senator Bob Day, a Christian conservative opponent of same-sex marriage.

Not sure if this will go anywhere with conservatives controlling the government, but it’s great to see some movement on the issue at the national level.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Australia.

Australian Couple Marries at UK Consulate

Friday, June 27th, 2014

Peter and GordonThe first legal gay wedding has taken place in Australia, although technically it was on UK soil.

Gay Star News reports:

From today British consulates around Australia are allowed to marry same-sex couples where at least one of the parties is a UK citizen. What is believed to be the first such marriage in Australia took place today around 3pm at the British consulate near Sydney’s Circular Quay and involved a Scottish Australian couple. Peter Fraser and Gordon Stevenson married wearing matching kilts in the Fraser clan tartan after 19 years together.

Unfortunately, they will no longer be married once they set foot outside the consulate, at least not for Australian governmental purposes, as Australia continues to deny same sex couples the right to marry, despite widespread popular support.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Australia.

Eleven Year Old Calls Prime Minister “So Pathetic” For Opposition to Marriage Equality

Monday, June 9th, 2014

Abbott LetterAn eleven year old Australian boy wrote a letter to Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott taking him to task for opposing marriage equality.

Queerty reports:

“My name is Orlando Burcham, I am 11 years old and I would like to know why you don’t allow ‘gay marriage’ in Australia. Because the majority of Australians are happily married, so why are you stopping all the gay men/women to be married in this beautiful country? My mother is gay and even worse your own sister is gay! And thousands more are as well.

“It is so pathetic that you aren’t letting the gay people of Australia and other countries get married here. Millions of people in the world and when they come to Australia and think ‘wow this place is great! Let’s get married here!’

“And then they remember that they can’t. So they spend thousands of dollars to go somewhere they can get married. My mum is married but she had to go to New York, which took a lot of money.

“You were elected to represent our country, not yourself. Just because you think it’s wrong, does not give you the right to make it illegal. Doesn’t our opinions matter to you? Just because you’re the Prime Minister, which by the way does not give you all the power. I hope you change your mind.”

Abbott wrote back:

I appreciate the deep feelings that many in the community have on either side of the issue. The Government supports the current definition of marriage contained in the Marriage Act 1961. Any change to this policy would be a matter for the Coalition Party Room. My personal opinion is to support the existing definition of marriage.

Guess Abbott’s not ashamed, huh?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Australia.

Australia: Parliament Will Consider Recognizing Out of Country Marriages

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

Sydney, Australia Opera HouseThe Australian Senate will consider whether to recognize out of country weddings of same sex couples.

Gay Star News reports:

The Australian Senate’s Legal and Constitutional Committee will hold an inquiry on legally recognizing same-sex marriages performed overseas after Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young introduced a bill that would recognize them if passed. Australia already recognizes heterosexual marriages which are legally conducted overseas and the Greens bill seeks to also recognize same-sex marriages performed overseas where they are legal.

It’s a small step toward marriage equality in a country that strongly supports it. Will the politicians finally start to come around?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Australia.

Australia: Bill Introduced to Recognize Overseas Same Sex Marriages

Friday, March 28th, 2014

Australia MapThe Green Party has introduced a new bill to recognize same sex weddings performed in other countries.

Gay Star News reports:

Australian Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has announced she will introduce a bill to legally recognize same-sex marriages performed in overseas jurisdictions in reaction to same-sex couples in England and Wales being able to marry from tomorrow. Hanson-Young has also proposed an inquiry to examine the affect that the legalization of same-sex marriage has had in those jurisdictions where it is legal which would then draft a report for the parliament.

It’s a crack in the dam. Will it pass?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Australia.

Australia, New South Wales: Advocates Hold Marriage Equality Rally in Albury

Monday, March 24th, 2014

Australia MapMarriage equality advocates had a strong showing in a small town in Australia’s New South Wales.

The Star Observer reports:

Hundreds attended the rally organised by Equal Love, including several Albury city councillors and mayor Kevin Mack. Many attending signed a petition in support of marriage equality to be presented to the area’s representatives in Federal Parliament. The rally came just days after Assistant Education Minister Sussan Ley, whose federal seat of Farrah includes Albury, said on the ABC’s Q&A program her constituents weren’t ready for marriage equality. “It is an idea whose time hasn’t quite come in the area of regional and rural Australia that I represent,” Ley told the Q&A audience.

While marriage equality enjoys strong support in Australia, the politicians haven’t yet caught up.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Australia.

Australia: Students Confront Prime Minister Abbot Over Marriage Equality Opposition

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

Australia Prime Minister Tony AbbottKids in Australia don’t understand the ban on marriage equality anymore than kids in the US do. Prime Minister Tony Abbott was questioned by high school students over the issue. reports:

High school students from the Newtown High School of the Performing Arts (a school in the suburbs of Sydney) confronted Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott in a question and answer session on Friday about his opposition to same-sex marriage. Asked one student, to wild cheers from the others: “Why are you so against legalizing gay marriage?”

Abbott replied: “Well look, I’m not against people having a wonderful relationship, I’m all in favor of people having loving, permanent relationships, but I guess it’s a definitional thing.”

To which another student shouted, to more wild cheers: “There’s a lot of gay people in our school. I have a lot of gay friends, and it’s sad to think that they can’t get married just because they’re attracted to the same sex!”

He has no good answer because there is no good answer.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Australia.