10 responses

  1. Aussie Steve
    November 15, 2010

    Great summary of the current events down under. There appears to be enough support from individual members of parliament but unless parties allow a conscience vote or change their policy it won’t happen.

  2. Lorenzo from Oz
    November 15, 2010

    Excellent summary.

    Marriage is a Commonwealth responsibility according to the Australian Constitution and Commonwealth power trumps State power in its areas of constitutional competence. The States control all other aspects of family law, however. So the proposed legal strategy has all sorts of fascinating constitutional wrinkles.

  3. Lorenzo from Oz
    November 15, 2010

    Commonwealth = Federal (as in the Federal Government of the Commonwealth of Australia), just to clarify my previous comment.

  4. Other Fred in the UK
    November 16, 2010

    If memory serves, same-sex marriage was turn into a partisan issue by John Howard, imitating the success of the U.S. Republicans in using it as a ‘wedge issue’. I suspect advocates in Australia would be wise to try to remove that partisan nature of the debate.

  5. paul canning
    November 16, 2010

    The absolute best person to read on the situation is the leading Aussie activist Rodney Croome http://www.rodneycroome.id.au/weblog.php

    He is very optimistic that a ‘tipping point’ has been reached but believes they’ll be one big godalmighty pushback from the religious right, especially the Catholic Church, which does have clout in Oz. He reports today that the Oz equivalent of MoveOn is running a campaign, which is an enormous help with yesterday’s development.

    Labor definitely lost votes on this issue to the Greens at the last election, including their first lower house seat. It almost lost three others, all ‘metropolitan’ inner city seats. Arbib’s move is partly doing the right thing – his comments related to his children, nicely positioning this as a ‘family issue’ – but are also a political calculation aimed at winning back some of those lost votes.

    Gillard’s position is simply that Labor conference has to decide. At the last one marriage was narrowly lost and it seems likely that at the next one it will win. I don’t think your characterisation of it as a left-right issue in Labor is correct. The Labor opposition is largely from Catholic MPs. There are also a number of opposition (conservative) MPs in support.

  6. paul canning
    November 16, 2010

    Here’s that campaign from GetUp! which has had tens of thousands involved http://www.getup.org.au/campaign/1369&id=1460

  7. Timothy Kincaid
    November 16, 2010

    Thanks for the feedback from our Aussie readers.

  8. Mark F.
    November 16, 2010

    It’s interesting that P.M. Gillard is an open atheist, so she obviously doesn’t believe in the religion based anti-gay arguments. Either she is a bigot or a rank political opportunist.

  9. Lorenzo from Oz
    November 18, 2010

    Mark F: the ALP is very strict about requiring MPs to support Party policy. Julia Gillard is PM because she is ALP Leader, so she is duty-bound to support the current platform. As the head of a minority Government, she has enough problems without publicly playing fast and loose with basic ALP rules.

  10. Anonymous
    November 9, 2013

    I every time spent my half an hour to read this weblog’s content every day along with a cup of coffee.

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