Friday, December 8, 2017

Marriage equality comes to Australia on Saturday

The people voted. Parliament voted and Governor-General Peter Cosgrove has signed the marriage equality bill into law on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II, Australia's constitutional head of state. Same-sex marriage is legal in Australia as of tomorrow.

Gay couples who married overseas will have immediate recognition of their marriages. Marriage in Australia requires a calendar-month in advance notice. Therefore, same-sex weddings will start taking place on January 9, 2018.

Opposition to marriage equality was largely orchestrated by the Catholic Church. They trotted out the same losing arguments that the Church employed in the United States. In doing so they might have crystallized the religious nature of marriage discrimination, creating more support for equality.

Opponents will continue to inadvertently highlight the fact that there is no coherent secular argument against same-sex marriage. Victimology — from Jack Phillips to Barronelle Stutzman — works to identify a handful of loony religious zealots who cannot run a business properly and turn away paying customers.

National Organization for Marriage attempted to create an “international” image by opposing marriage equality in Australia. In addition to NOM, people like Katy Faust were making frequent visits to the island nation to stir up the populace. Even Ryan T. Anderson parachuted in, in an attempt to change the outcome. They might have helped to advance equality.

Ironically, through their stridency, Brian S. Brown and National Organization for Marriage might have aided in ushering in a new determination for fairness and equality here and around the globe. You will forgive me if I fail to offer my appreciation for that enterprise.

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