• Revision ID 20899 REVISION
  • 2017-11-15 18:33:17
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Title Title
Australians want marriage equality after passionate campaigns on both sides Australians want marriage equality after passionate campaigns on both sides
Summary Summary
  Australian's 'yes' vote to legalize same-sex marriage comes after months of appeals to voters' emotions
Highlights Highlights
Content Content
<strong>Australians have voted in favour of  <a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-41992344">legalizing same-sex marriage</a> after a historic postal survey that took two months and split the country in a bruising debate on contemporary morals and human sexuality. The results were met with<span class="s1"> <a href="https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-australia-gaymarriage/rainbow-celebrations-as-australians-vote-for-same-sex-marriage-idUKKBN1DE34P">rainbow-infused celebrations</a></span><a href="https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-australia-gaymarriage/rainbow-celebrations-as-australians-vote-for-same-sex-marriage-idUKKBN1DE34P"> across the country</a>.</strong> <strong>Australians have voted in favour of  <a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-41992344">legalizing same-sex marriage</a> after a historic postal survey that took two months and split the country in a bruising debate on contemporary morals and human sexuality. The results were met with<span class="s1"> <a href="https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-australia-gaymarriage/rainbow-celebrations-as-australians-vote-for-same-sex-marriage-idUKKBN1DE34P">rainbow-infused celebrations</a></span><a href="https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-australia-gaymarriage/rainbow-celebrations-as-australians-vote-for-same-sex-marriage-idUKKBN1DE34P"> across the country</a>.</strong>
The non-binding public poll 20 years after Tasmania became the last Australian state to decriminalise male homosexuality. The plebiscite, a postal survey,  was held instead of a referendum because previous attempts to hold more conventional parliamentary votes <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_same-sex_marriage_in_Australia">were rejected in the Senate,</a> the federal upper house. The non-binding public poll 20 years after Tasmania became the last Australian state to decriminalise male homosexuality. The plebiscite, a postal survey,  was held instead of a referendum because previous attempts to hold more conventional parliamentary votes <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_same-sex_marriage_in_Australia">were rejected in the Senate,</a> the federal upper house.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull <a href="https://twitter.com/TurnbullMalcolm/status/930575993294635008?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Etweet">said the survey's result was</a> "an overwhelming call for marriage equality". He said the his government would now aim to pass legislation by Christmas. A bill was introduced into the Senate within hours of the outcome being announced, as <a href="http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2017/11/15/australia-votes-yes-same-sex-marriage-survey">reported by </a>multi-ethnic <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_Broadcasting_Service">broadcaster SBS.</a> Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull <a href="https://twitter.com/TurnbullMalcolm/status/930575993294635008?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Etweet">said the survey's result was</a> "an overwhelming call for marriage equality". He said the his government would now aim to pass legislation by Christmas. A bill was introduced into the Senate within hours of the outcome being announced, as <a href="http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2017/11/15/australia-votes-yes-same-sex-marriage-survey">reported by </a>multi-ethnic <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_Broadcasting_Service">broadcaster SBS.</a>
Of those who voted, 61.6 percent (<a href="https://marriagesurvey.abs.gov.au/results/">7.8 million</a>) were in favor of allowing same-sex couples to marry, <a href="http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs%40.nsf/mediareleasesbyCatalogue/A05160B9DDD9C4BFCA2581D9000131CC?OpenDocument">the Australian Bureau of Statistics said. </a>The No vote was 34.8 percent. High-profile opponents of the change included former prime minister Tony Abbott, as <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/nov/14/tony-abbott-says-there-has-been-no-bullying-by-no-campaign-during-marriage-survey">The Guardian newspaper</a> noted. More than 12.7 million people (12,727,920) participated in the voluntary survey – 79.5 percent of the 16 million Australians eligible to vote, according to <a href="http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs%40.nsf/mediareleasesbyCatalogue/A05160B9DDD9C4BFCA2581D9000131CC?OpenDocument">the Bureau</a>. Of those who voted, 61.6 percent (<a href="https://marriagesurvey.abs.gov.au/results/">7.8 million</a>) were in favor of allowing same-sex couples to marry, <a href="http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs%40.nsf/mediareleasesbyCatalogue/A05160B9DDD9C4BFCA2581D9000131CC?OpenDocument">the Australian Bureau of Statistics said. </a>The No vote was 34.8 percent. High-profile opponents of the change included former prime minister Tony Abbott, as <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/nov/14/tony-abbott-says-there-has-been-no-bullying-by-no-campaign-during-marriage-survey">The Guardian newspaper</a> noted. More than 12.7 million people (12,727,920) participated in the voluntary survey – 79.5 percent of the 16 million Australians eligible to vote, according to <a href="http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs%40.nsf/mediareleasesbyCatalogue/A05160B9DDD9C4BFCA2581D9000131CC?OpenDocument">the Bureau</a>.
The <a href="https://marriagesurvey.abs.gov.au/introduction">question asked was</a>: "Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?" The <a href="https://marriagesurvey.abs.gov.au/introduction">question asked was</a>: "Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?"
https://twitter.com/TurnbullMalcolm/status/930575993294635008 https://twitter.com/TurnbullMalcolm/status/930575993294635008
All Australian states and territories recorded a <a href="http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs%40.nsf/mediareleasesbyCatalogue/A05160B9DDD9C4BFCA2581D9000131CC?OpenDocument">vote in favor of change</a>; the vote was closest in New South Wales, the most populous state, with <a href="https://marriagesurvey.abs.gov.au/results/">57.8 percent for yes </a>and 42.2 percent no. All Australian states and territories recorded a <a href="http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs%40.nsf/mediareleasesbyCatalogue/A05160B9DDD9C4BFCA2581D9000131CC?OpenDocument">vote in favor of change</a>; the vote was closest in New South Wales, the most populous state, with <a href="https://marriagesurvey.abs.gov.au/results/">57.8 percent for yes </a>and 42.2 percent no.
Nearly five million people <a href="https://marriagesurvey.abs.gov.au/results/">voted 'No'</a>, which has prompted <a href="http://www.smh.com.au/comment/yes-campaign-must-keep-its-promises-after-5-million-people-voted-no-in-samesex-marriage-ballot-20171114-gzlawd.html">concern about the protection of free speech and religious freedom</a> of citizens who are against the change. The participation rate was high for a voluntary survey, chief <a href="http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs%40.nsf/mediareleasesbyCatalogue/A05160B9DDD9C4BFCA2581D9000131CC?OpenDocument">Australian Statistician David W. Kalisch said</a>. As expected, there was a high response in lower age-groups, but also around 80 percent of voters <a href="https://marriagesurvey.abs.gov.au/results/">aged over 85</a> took part. Nearly five million people <a href="https://marriagesurvey.abs.gov.au/results/">voted 'No'</a>, which has prompted <a href="http://www.smh.com.au/comment/yes-campaign-must-keep-its-promises-after-5-million-people-voted-no-in-samesex-marriage-ballot-20171114-gzlawd.html">concern about the protection of free speech and religious freedom</a> of citizens who are against the change. The participation rate was high for a voluntary survey, chief <a href="http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs%40.nsf/mediareleasesbyCatalogue/A05160B9DDD9C4BFCA2581D9000131CC?OpenDocument">Australian Statistician David W. Kalisch said</a>. As expected, there was a high response in lower age-groups, but also around 80 percent of voters <a href="https://marriagesurvey.abs.gov.au/results/">aged over 85</a> took part.
<h2>Emotion-driven campaigns</h2> <h2>Emotion-driven campaigns</h2>
The high turnout was the result of campaigns which played to emotions, <a href="http://sydney.edu.au/business/staff/vince.mitchell">Vince Mitchell</a>, a behavioralist at the University of Sydney Business School, told <em>WikiTribune</em>. The high turnout was the result of campaigns which played to emotions, <a href="http://sydney.edu.au/business/staff/vince.mitchell">Vince Mitchell</a>, a behavioralist at the University of Sydney Business School, told <em>WikiTribune</em>.
The turnout of almost 80 percent of Australians was "enormous", given the vote was about what he termed a "small issue". Only about <a href="http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/[email protected]/Lookup/4102.0Main+Features10July+2013">1 percent of couples in Australia are same-sex</a>, according to government statistics. The turnout of almost 80 percent of Australians was "enormous", given the vote was about what he termed a "small issue". Only about <a href="http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/[email protected]/Lookup/4102.0Main+Features10July+2013">1 percent of couples in Australia are same-sex</a>, according to government statistics.
<p class="p1">Campaigns on both sides ignored rational arguments, instead using messages of hope for the 'Yes' vote and fear on the 'No' side, Mitchell said. Both sides "fueled passions by running very emotive campaigns which asked people to feel not think." Emotive advertisements angered each opposing side, he said.</p> <p class="p1">Campaigns on both sides ignored rational arguments, instead using messages of hope for the 'Yes' vote and fear on the 'No' side, Mitchell said. Both sides "fueled passions by running very emotive campaigns which asked people to feel not think." Emotive advertisements angered each opposing side, he said.</p>
[caption id="attachment_20744" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]<a href="https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2017/11/36722772810_9e40111bf2_k.jpg"><img class="size-large wp-image-20744" src="https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2017/11/36722772810_9e40111bf2_k-1024x683.jpg" alt="A sign supporting the 'Yes' vote in Australia's marriage postal survey (Photo: Nic McBride via Flickr)" width="1024" height="683" /></a> A sign supporting the 'Yes' vote in Australia's marriage postal survey (Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/thebotanistsdaughter/36722772810/in/photolist-XX4NXm-Yy8vwB-Yy8w9Z-Yy8rLa-Yy8sKz-XX4PM7-XjjjDx-XX4RBE-YkCoTn-Yy8qqz-XX4RS9-XX4Sz1-YgtAqs-XX4RZy-Yy8snR-Yy8u2x-YoXT67-XX4PmY-YgtAf7-YkCkMn-WP6HoG-WP6HfA-XtMsu1-XSvntK-XtMEHQ-XSvosP-XPMced-XSvnXF-Y5RFKB-WP6A2s-WP6Hzy-XSvnGR-XtMszb-WP6saL-UwhneM-U8G5a5-UwhmWc-Uo4hhB-TZvDUQ-TkXV9M-Ukm63s-Ukm5qA-TkWV4P-Uk5Wwu-UyWn2D-UnpM6K-UyWnAK-EYcWsg-Ckz37E-ARFVu2">Nic McBride</a> via Flickr used under creative commons license <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">CC BY 2.0</a>)[/caption] [caption id="attachment_20744" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]<a href="https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2017/11/36722772810_9e40111bf2_k.jpg"><img class="size-large wp-image-20744" src="https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2017/11/36722772810_9e40111bf2_k-1024x683.jpg" alt="A sign supporting the 'Yes' vote in Australia's marriage postal survey (Photo: Nic McBride via Flickr)" width="1024" height="683" /></a> A sign supporting the 'Yes' vote in Australia's marriage postal survey (Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/thebotanistsdaughter/36722772810/in/photolist-XX4NXm-Yy8vwB-Yy8w9Z-Yy8rLa-Yy8sKz-XX4PM7-XjjjDx-XX4RBE-YkCoTn-Yy8qqz-XX4RS9-XX4Sz1-YgtAqs-XX4RZy-Yy8snR-Yy8u2x-YoXT67-XX4PmY-YgtAf7-YkCkMn-WP6HoG-WP6HfA-XtMsu1-XSvntK-XtMEHQ-XSvosP-XPMced-XSvnXF-Y5RFKB-WP6A2s-WP6Hzy-XSvnGR-XtMszb-WP6saL-UwhneM-U8G5a5-UwhmWc-Uo4hhB-TZvDUQ-TkXV9M-Ukm63s-Ukm5qA-TkWV4P-Uk5Wwu-UyWn2D-UnpM6K-UyWnAK-EYcWsg-Ckz37E-ARFVu2">Nic McBride</a> via Flickr used under creative commons license <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">CC BY 2.0</a>)[/caption]
The 'Yes' campaign capitalized on the link between love being a universal right and marriage equality,  said Mitchell, whereas the 'No' camp capitalized on the emotion of fear to allow "leaps of logic", he said. The 'Yes' campaign capitalized on the link between love being a universal right and marriage equality,  said Mitchell, whereas the 'No' camp capitalized on the emotion of fear to allow "leaps of logic", he said.
Voting took place over eight weeks from September 12 to November 7, in what the BBC described as an "<a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-41362445">ugly and bruising" </a>process. Voting took place over eight weeks from September 12 to November 7, in what the BBC described as an "<a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-41362445">ugly and bruising" </a>process.
"It exposed people's prejudices and allowed some degree of homophobia and judgment on gay relationships in general as opposed to sticking strictly with the issue of marriage," Mitchell said. "It gave some a public platform and occasion to air homophobic views which lie dormant and often unspoken until provoked." "It exposed people's prejudices and allowed some degree of homophobia and judgment on gay relationships in general as opposed to sticking strictly with the issue of marriage," Mitchell said. "It gave some a public platform and occasion to air homophobic views which lie dormant and often unspoken until provoked."
The government <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-41362445">asked citizens</a> for the debate to be civil and respectful in response to unrest caused by the same sex marriage debate. The Senate <a href="https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=s1092">passed legislation</a> that banned intimidation, threats and vilification during the vote. Anyone deemed to breach the protections <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-41249653">faced fines of up to A$12,600</a> (US$10,103). The government <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-41362445">asked citizens</a> for the debate to be civil and respectful in response to unrest caused by the same sex marriage debate. The Senate <a href="https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=s1092">passed legislation</a> that banned intimidation, threats and vilification during the vote. Anyone deemed to breach the protections <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-41249653">faced fines of up to A$12,600</a> (US$10,103).
<h2>A long time coming</h2> <h2>A long time coming</h2>
<p class="p1">Same-sex marriage has been prohibited in <span class="s1">Australia</span><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marriage_Act_1961_(Australia)#Marriage_Amendment_Act_2004"><span class="s1"> since 2004</span></a> when the Howard government changed the law to define marriage as between a man and a woman and <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_same-sex_marriage_in_Australia#40th.2C_41st_and_42nd_Parliaments_.282004.E2.80.9310.29">"to the exclusion of all others"</a>.</p> <p class="p1">Same-sex marriage has been prohibited in <span class="s1">Australia</span><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marriage_Act_1961_(Australia)#Marriage_Amendment_Act_2004"><span class="s1"> since 2004</span></a> when the Howard government changed the law to define marriage as between a man and a woman and <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_same-sex_marriage_in_Australia#40th.2C_41st_and_42nd_Parliaments_.282004.E2.80.9310.29">"to the exclusion of all others"</a>.</p>
After that, 22 bills <a href="https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/rp/rp1617/Quick_Guides/SSMarriageBills">were introduced</a> to legalize same-sex marriage, according to the Parliament of Australia. Since September 2016, four same-sex marriage bills have been <a href="https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/rp/rp1617/Quick_Guides/SSMarriageBills">introduced into the federal parliament</a>. After that, 22 bills <a href="https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/rp/rp1617/Quick_Guides/SSMarriageBills">were introduced</a> to legalize same-sex marriage, according to the Parliament of Australia. Since September 2016, four same-sex marriage bills have been <a href="https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/rp/rp1617/Quick_Guides/SSMarriageBills">introduced into the federal parliament</a>.
<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Tasmania">Homosexual sex was illegal in Tasmania until 1997</a>, with age of consent laws discriminating against homosexuals in Queensland <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Queensland">until 2016</a>. <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Tasmania">Homosexual sex was illegal in Tasmania until 1997</a>, with age of consent laws discriminating against homosexuals in Queensland <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Queensland">until 2016</a>.
"It is widely accepted and Australia has come a long way in a short space of time," Vince Mitchell told <em>WikiTribune. </em>But "there it is still a little way to go before everyone is informed and comfortable with the LGBTQ community," he said. "It is widely accepted and Australia has come a long way in a short space of time," Vince Mitchell told <em>WikiTribune. </em>But "there it is still a little way to go before everyone is informed and comfortable with the LGBTQ community," he said.
<h2>Same sex marriage around the world</h2> <h2>Same sex marriage around the world</h2>
<ul> <ul>
<li>Same-sex marriage is <a href="http://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFL8N1NL2K1">legal in 25 countries</a>: Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Britain, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Uruguay, United States.</li>  <li>Same-sex marriage is <a href="http://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFL8N1NL2K1">legal in 25 countries</a>: Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Britain, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Uruguay, United States.</li>
<li>In some of those regions, only some parts permit same-sex marriage. In the UK, for example, it is banned in Northern Ireland.</li>  <li>In some of those regions, only some parts permit same-sex marriage. In the UK, for example, it is banned in Northern Ireland.</li>
<li>Netherlands became the first country in the world to legalize gay marriage <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-sex_marriage_in_the_Netherlands">in 2001</a>.</li>  <li>Netherlands became the first country in the world to legalize gay marriage <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-sex_marriage_in_the_Netherlands">in 2001</a>.</li>
<li>Same-sex marriage legislation came into force in South Africa in 2006, though it is outlawed in every other part of Africa.</li>  <li>Same-sex marriage legislation came into force in South Africa in 2006, though it is outlawed in every other part of Africa.</li>
<li>Gay relationships are still criminalized in 72 countries, according to the 2017 <a href="http://ilga.org/what-we-do/state-sponsored-homophobia-report/">annual report</a> by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA).</li>  <li>Gay relationships are still criminalized in 72 countries, according to the 2017 <a href="http://ilga.org/what-we-do/state-sponsored-homophobia-report/">annual report</a> by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA).</li>
<li>It was  <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-25927595">illegal to be gay</a> in 126 countries between the late 18th century and the current decade. In many countries, it can lead to <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-25927595">imprisonment or the death penalty</a>.</li>  <li>It was  <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-25927595">illegal to be gay</a> in 126 countries between the late 18th century and the current decade. In many countries, it can lead to <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-25927595">imprisonment or the death penalty</a>.</li>
<li>Taiwan became the first country in Asia to vote to legalize same-sex marriage <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-sex_marriage_in_Taiwan">in 2017</a>. The country has two years to amend the marriage laws to align with the constitution.</li>  <li>Taiwan became the first country in Asia to vote to legalize same-sex marriage <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-sex_marriage_in_Taiwan">in 2017</a>. The country has two years to amend the marriage laws to align with the constitution.</li>
</ul> </ul>
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  <p>Featured image: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/thebotanistsdaughter/36931109666/in/photolist-YgtAf7-YkCkMn-WP6HoG-WP6HfA-XtMsu1-XSvntK-XtMEHQ-XSvosP-XPMced-XSvnXF-Y5RFKB-WP6A2s-WP6Hzy-XSvnGR-XtMszb-WP6saL-UwhneM-U8G5a5-UwhmWc-Uo4hhB-TZvDUQ-TkXV9M-Ukm63s-Ukm5qA-TkWV4P-Uk5Wwu-UyWn2D-UnpM6K-UyWnAK-EYcWsg-Ckz37E-ARFVu2-AcK41y-AQGEyD-ARFZcH-Ay6xm3-APvLw5-tpLpis-sv66LS-r6xYW7-r9644f-pripqq-8vziPC-Uk5Wr9-UnJc5v-UjLDF1-RvC8ew-Py8pT5-P3DGmu-PqFkUT">Nic McBride</a> via Flickr used under creative commons license <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">CC BY 2.0</a></p>

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