Australia is a progressive country in some ways and not so much in others. The current government is the Liberal Party, even though they are actually the more conservative of the two major parties.
There has been a push for marriage equality for years. The Liberal Party have a range of views within. There is a staunchly conservative and religious wing of the party and they have of course been resisting change. The current Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull is for marriage equality, despite being in Liberal Party. Even though he is for it, he has not pushed the policy through parliament because of there are members of his own party who oppose it. Before the last election, Turnbull promised to hold a Plebiscite on the matter.
What is a Plebiscite?
In this case it is basically just a survey, not to be confused with a referendum. All registered voters in Australia are about to receive the survey. It simply asks if you are in favor of changing current laws to recognize same sex marriage. The Yes campaign is strong and based on polls, around 60-70% are in favor of this progressive move. Many on the Yes side are opposed to the Plebiscite for a number of reasons.
Firstly, it is not binding. Even if the majority of people answer yes, it still might not happen.
Secondly, it is a postal vote and there would be many people who do not post letters and might not be bothered to fill in the survey. The belief is that these people will more likely be young and liberal Yes voters.
Another significant reason many were opposed to the survey, is that it has meant campaigning. Much of the ‘No’ campaign advertising is seen as quite damaging to young and vulnerable members of the LGBTQ community. It is one thing to have it debated in parliament, it is quite another when adverts are actively campaigning against marriage equality on TV, in brochures, and print.
Nevertheless, the survey will go ahead with Australians due to receive their survey any day now and the results will be known by the middle of November.
Former President Barack Obama did so much for the LGBTQ community by using the term ‘our gay brothers and sisters’ and by introducing marriage equality in the United States.
Ellen also has shown her feelings with this tweet:
“Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?” Yes, it should. (Let’s do this, Australia.) pic.twitter.com/EslAlb3KyQ
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) September 12, 2017
Let’s hope Australia follows suit.
Watch one of the No campaign ads:
Watch Obama talk about our gay brothers and sisters:
Featured image via YouTube.