Now we finally know how many same-sex couples have gotten married in Australia since the country voted yes to marriage equality.
Back in 2017, the Australian government asked its citizens whether same-sex marriage should be made legal. That led to eight weeks of a postal survey polling Australian residents. And then on November 15, the Australian Bureau of Statistics announced that the final vote was a yes. More specifically, 7,817,247 Aussies (61.6%) said yes while just 4,873,987 (38.4%) said no.
Now, nearly five years later, Australia’s 2021 Census tells us how many same-sex couples got married in that time. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the 2021 Census states that nearly 24,000 gay marriages have been counted in that five-year span. 23,914 same-sex marriages to be exact.
That’s sweet and good to know! And what else about LGBTQ people did we learn from the census? … Nothing. Unfortunately, the Census largely ignored LGBTQ people outside of that number. As the Star Observer reported, this was largely the result of a Scott Morrison-led government. You know, the same guy who frequents the anti-LGBTQ church that’s getting Chris Pratt in trouble. Under his rule, the Statistics branch refused to acknowledge LGBTQ people in its census questions.
“The release of census data gives us fascinating insights into the diversity of the Australian community – what we believe, what language we speak at home, rates of chronic disease, and other key demographic data that will inform crucial decisions about what services are provided to communities, and where,” Anna Brown, CEO of Equality Australia, said in a statement.
“But once again, lesbian, gay, bi+, transgender, intersex and queer people are not properly represented in the census data, because the ABS and the minister responsible at the time failed to ensure much-needed questions about sexual orientation, gender identity or variations in sex characteristics were asked or asked properly.”
“Until we’re counted, we’ll remain invisible. That’s why – with the first release of 2021 census data – our communities are coming together again to say that it’s time for the Census to stop leaving LGBTIQ+ people out, and count us in,” said Brown.
Despite the erasure of LGBTQ people in the census outside of same-sex marriage, Australian’s head statistician Dr David Gruen notes the later as progress. Gruen said that the latest findings on same-sex marriages “provides a fascinating glimpse into the structure and changing profile of Australian families.”