|Results of Aussie vote on equal marriage, courtesy ABC|
Today, Australia released its results in that country's postal survey of voters in which almost 80% of voters participated on the issue of legalizing same sex marriage in that country and the results are wonderful: 62% in favour, 38% opposed. Observers expect the Aussie government to pass same sex marriage into law perhaps by the end of this year.
I want to congratulate all Australians on this historic victory for equality!
It's heartening that these national votes, at least in the western world, are starting to result in wins for human rights and equality. Sadly other national votes outside the west in recent years, like in Slovenia, have been won by the bigots.
But referendum victories even in the west are a recent phenomenon. Defeats in similar referendums at the state level in the United States used to be common. It wasn't until 2012 that American voters started embracing equality by popular vote at the state level.
Other victories for same sex marriage happened either in legislative bodies or in the courts, including in Canada where a court victory in 2003 legalized same sex marriage in Ontario, followed by passage of full marriage equality across the country in the House of Commons in 2005. Full marriage equality was granted by the American Supreme Court in 2015 across that entire country.
Of course, we must not forget that homosexuality remains illegal in many parts of the world, so we must keep up the fight for equality the world over and not forget those LGBTQ people not fortunate enough to live in mostly progressive countries.
As always, we can't forget that many other issues remain for LGBTQ people: Freedom from discrimination in human rights laws, protection against hate crimes, as well as a host of other economic equality issues which are even more relevant to all LGBTQ people than marriage laws. On those fronts, much more progress, especially in over half of American states where LGBTQ people can still be fired from their jobs for being queer, is needed.