Marriage Equality

Australia Votes YES for Marriage Equality!

After an eight-week postal survey polling Australian residents on whether or not same-sex marriage should be lawful throughout Australia, the results are in!

At 10 a.m. on November 15th, the Australian Bureau of Statistics announced that the final vote is a YES!

The Aussies have spoken and the results are:

  • 7,817,247 – YES 61.6%
  • 4,873,987 – NO 38.4%

12,727,920 total voters 79.5% total electorate

Here is footage of the gathering in Sydney for the announcement (video from DNA Magazine's Facebook Page). Skip ahead to the 21 minute mark for THE moment.

 

 


Over 12.6 million people participated in the voluntary postal survey, that’s about ¾ of the entire Australian electorate.

This has been one of the most pivotal moments in Australia’s history, creating massive dialogue between campaigns for and against the proposed law.

According to a press release issued by the Human Rights Watch:

The postal survey in effect submitted the human rights of the LGBT population to a popularity contest, putting gay, lesbian, and bisexual people in a vulnerable position. For two months, their lives and identities were open to public debate, scrutiny, evaluation, and sometimes abuse.

During this period, some groups opposing marriage equality used scare tactics to lure voters to their side. Opponents stoked fears that a “yes” victory would pose a threat to religious freedom. The opponents circulated posters and advertising campaigns with misleading information and sometimes outright lies.

Upon news of the historic results, Alex Greenwich from the Equality Campaign shared:

This happened because millions of Australians reached out to our own families, neighbourhoods, organisations – to stand up for equality, stand by our loved ones and share why YES was so important

You’ve done it. It’s YES.

Now, because of you, ours will be the last generation in which LGBTI relationships are not equal under the law. For the young person growing up in a small town, for the couple who have been together 40 years, and the person who’s been longing to propose: you belong here, your love is celebrated and honoured here, and never again will you be made to feel otherwise by our country’s laws.

So pick up the phone right now. Call your son or daughter. Text your best friend. Hug your grandma. High-five the coffee guy. Pump the music in your office. Put a shiny new badge on your profile pic. Give your child a great big cuddle. Because today in Australia, fairness and equality triumphed, and we can all be proud.

Congratulations, Australia! The survey is only the beginning on a path to parliament adoption which would make Australia the 25th country with marriage equality. Let's get ready for some fabulous weddings in the land down under!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bermuda's Government Is Trying To Re-Ban Same-Sex Marriage

Bermuda is trying to become the first country to re-ban same-sex marriage.

The first gay couples to get married in Bermuda did so only in May of this year. This was after the island’s Supreme Court ruled the ban on same-sex marriage to be discriminatory.

Bermuda’s legislative branch however has introduced a bill that would take away same sex-marriage (which was only legalized a few months ago).

The bill, titled “Domestic Partnership Bill,” was introduced by the Minister of Home Affairs named Walton Brown.

This bill, if passed into law, would not be able to affect already married couples, but it would make it so that any new couples could only be given “domestic partnerships” and not marriage. (Plus, straight couples could opt for partnerships instead of marriage too).

As Brown stated, “This topic has been a prolonged matter of great division in our country.

“The purpose of this public consultation period is to gain feedback from the public on the current draft Bill regarding domestic partnerships and answer any questions that anyone might have.

“Stakeholder groups have already been informed as we seek to move forward in a collaborative way.”

In addition, Brown is looking for members of the public to share their thoughts on his new bill in order to see if the general populace supports the idea of replacing same-sex marriage with domestic partnerships.

“Members of the public are invited to send comments and questions to the following email address: domesticpartnership@gov.bm.

“There will be a two week public consultation period which will begin today and conclude on Wednesday November 15.”

Study Predicts The Australia's "Yes" Vote Will Have A Narrow Loss

An academic study is using Twitter opinions to gauge the results of the public vote for or against same-sex marriage in Australian.

While many opinion polls say that the yes vote will win and be around 60 percent of the vote, this Twitter opinion study says the opposite.

The study, by Academics David Tuffley and Bela Stantic, looked at over 458,565 tweets through the month of October.

At face value, the two found that there was an overwhelming amount of support for marriage equality. Specifically, they found that there was 72 percent support for the yes vote.

That said, they also found that only 15% of the yeses came from people over the age of 55. With that in mind, they adjusted the numbers and ended up with 57 percent support.

But that’s not all, they then adjusted the numbers again to make up for the low amount of tweets coming from people older than 55 (a voter pool that will show up in the actual vote). This ended up with a 49 percent yes rate for the vote.

Tuffley and Stantic are known for being surprisingly accurate when it comes to tough call votes and polls. For instance, they predicted the Trump win for the 2016 US presidential election.

And as they told Australian News Agency 9 News:

“It is likely to be a close-run result, much closer than the earlier polls suggested, and leaning in the direction of 'no.”

That said, the two do note that predications can have complications that get in the way of coming up with a true and fair answer.

"One of the problems with predicting poll outcomes is that people are often reluctant to say out loud what they really think about issues.”

"What people say online can often be more accurate than what they say to each other in this age of political correctness."

The First Gay Marriages In Germany Are Being Held This Sunday

Image via Youtube

The first gay couples in Germany will begin marrying this weekend, reports say.

Back on June 30th, lawmakers voted on whether the country should legalize marriage equality and same-sex couples were happy to see the vote pass in favor of it.

The law now reads "marriage binds two people of different sexes or the same sex for life,” and that change allowed an estimated 94,000 couples the right to marry each other.

As you can imagine, several of those couples have been waiting for some time now and are ready to join the marriage bandwagon any moment. But of course, these things take time and it has taken till this Sunday for the first few couples to finally be able to do it.

Couples will either be converting their civil partnerships or outright getting legally bonded for the first time come this Sunday in many places like Berlin, Hanover, and other cities.

But, the right to get married isn’t just about getting a wedding of course. It’s about the marital rights that come with it.

Now, these same-sex couples are being given the same rights that straight couples get concerning tax advantages, adoption rights, and much more.

 

 

But, of course, this is a government after all, so things will take some time to go fully through. Government software has still not officially been updated to acknowledge same-sex couples so online paperwork will continue to say “husband” and “wife” until sometime next year.

That said, people don’t mind the minor setbacks as long as they can finally get married.

"Finally, our country is joining the rest of Europe!" said Jörg Steinert, whose the head of a gay rights advocacy group called LSVD.

"We won't be a second-class couple any longer," noted Bode Mende to Neues Deutschland, who will be the first to marry in Berlin along with his partner Karl Kreil.

But as happy as this occasion may be, German citizens shouldn’t become complacent and stop forward motion for LGBTQ rights.

There are still several tasks to be done concerning policies affecting LGBTQ life like reproductive medicine, blood donation, and more.

That said, its good to celebrate the victories, so enjoy your day German people and congratulations.

Try Not To Cry To The Marriage Equality Ad That Floored "Bachelor" Viewers

Screenshot via Youtube @AustralianMarriageEquality

As we are now in the thick of the public vote over Marriage Equality in Australia, there are many MANY campaigns and commercials airing for and against same-sex marriage.

But, there are very few that are able to touch people in the special way that the one below did.

This pro-Marriage Equality ad played during last night’s Bachelor finale and caused several people to tear up.

Think you can watch it with a dry eye? Check out the video below. And, after that check out some tweets of people who are voting yes for Marriage Equality in Australia TODAY!

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Chile's President Introduced A Gay Marriage Bill To Their Congress

Photo by: Devin Randall

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet introduced a bill proposal on Monday to legalize gay marriage.

Bachelet is sending the proposal over to Congress at an upcoming ceremony in the presidential palace.

The plan for the proposal is to expand the definition of marriage from only between a man and a woman to “a union of two people.” In addition, it will give new rights to same-sex couples such as making it easier for them to adopt.

"We do this with the certainty that it is not ethical nor fair to put artificial limits on love, nor to deny essential rights just because of the sex of those who make up a couple," Bachelet said in La Moneda presidential palace.

Then in a later Twitter post (found below) she said, "There are no conditions to love. To keep moving towards an inclusive Chile, today I signed the Equal Marriage bill."

 

Sadly though, Bachelet’s term as president is nearly over. She will leave office in March of 2018 and experts estimate that she won’t be able to get the bill passed before her departure.

That said, people are celebrating that President Bachelet started the motion of this bill.

"It's the beginning of the end of discrimination based on sexual orientation to access marriage," said Luis Larrain, founder of the Iguales Foundation, "This day will be remembered as much as the day when women were granted the right to vote, slaves were freed or children born out of wedlock were granted the same rights."

In addition, Former President Sebastian Pinera, who is trying to run as the Conservative candidate this November, told Radio Concierto that marriage is not the same as same-sex partnerships.

That said, Pinera is against all forms of discrimination and in favor of equal rights for gay couples. 

Screenshot: Youtube @Politica Chile

It seems that the extremely conservative Chile is starting to loosen its policy. This attempt at marriage equality is only the latest in steps the government has had to include more liberal policy into its regulation.

For instance, in 2012 it passed a hate crime and anti-discrimination law that protects the people from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Same sex civil unions were legalized two years ago, and last week Chile kept a proposal that will end the ban on abortions.

Its amazing the great strides that Chile has made in the past few years.

Cartoon Hero Captain Planet's Fighting For Marriage Equality in Australia

Captain Planet is here to save the day again, and this time he’s saving gay marriage.

For those of you who don’t know, I am a young writer in his early twenties. What the means is that I was the perfect age to grow up on Captain Planet.

If you don’t know, Captain Planet and the Planeteers was a cartoon show that ran from 1990 to 1996 and then continued airing reruns up to today.

The show stared five upstanding and athletic teenagers who held magical rings that gave them the powers of the four elements… and heart (that’ll be important later). Then with their powers combined, they could summon forth the mystical hero of nature known as Captain Planet.

Again, I grew up in the early 2000s when reruns of Captain Planet played regularly. I remember waking up early at like 6 am before the sun rose. I’d turn on the tv, sit up close with the volume low, and watch 2 episodes of Captain Planet every weekday morning.

So, now that I’m “all grown up,” a working adult, and gay as all else, I’m glad to know Captain Planet is still my hero.

But what did Captain Planet do? Well, he went to Facebook to share his support of marriage equality in Australia and urged Australian citizens to make sure to register to vote in two weeks.

If you didn’t know, Australia is getting ready to have a very important public vote. Australians will decide whether they are for or against gay marriage.

The vote is voluntary, and technically the government doesn’t have ot act on whatever the people pick, but if a large amount of citizens say they are for it then hopefully the government will follow suit.

This is what the Captain Planet Facebook page was trying to remind us of with the original post.

And, of course, there were people there ready to fight or make jokes at the post, but Captain Planet was ready.

Once again, part of the power behind Captain Planet is his big heart, and he wanted to get that message across to everybody. Love is a power that can fight all of the hate and we should all use it more often.

As someone who grew up loving the show, I’m proud to see the creators behind the cartoon standing up for the LGBTQ community and for marriage equality. Like I said, Captain Planet is still my hero. Is he yours?