Marriage equality law passes Australia's parliament in landslide vote
December 7, 2017 3:32 AM   Subscribe

Australia’s parliament has legislated for marriage equality, passing a bill almost unanimously to allow two people, regardless of sex, to marry.

Five lower house members out of 150 voted against the law, which had already passed the Senate earlier this week, after a national postal survey returned a majority vote in every State & Territory, and a majority in 133 out of 150 electorates.

This week, every attempt to introduce some kind of "protection for freedom of religion" was voted down.

Previously.

I just thought it was worth promoting because everybody needs a hug, and nobody reads the comments down there in the old thread.
posted by UbuRoivas (68 comments total) 62 users marked this as a favorite
 
*hugs*
posted by nickzoic at 3:34 AM on December 7


🏳️‍🌈
posted by runcifex at 3:37 AM on December 7


🐨🐨🎊🥑🥑
posted by rokusan at 3:41 AM on December 7 [3 favorites]


Five lower house members out of 150 voted against the law. I'm very happy about this, but while there were 5 no votes, there were several abstentions. A horrible, painful and unnecessary process, but a good result.

Now to find a good video of when the chamber broke into song.
posted by michswiss at 3:42 AM on December 7


🌈🌈🌈🐨🌟🥂🎉

Hooray! At last! I'm sorry the process was so awful but I'm glad we got there.

Is there a list somewhere of the abstentions?

P.S. eat shit Lyle
posted by harriet vane at 3:48 AM on December 7 [6 favorites]




The Guardian live blog summed it up for me:

"I can report the earth has continued to turn.

There is a feeling of jubilation in this building. But I do have to acknowledge the mixed emotions that come with this. It has been a very long process, and a very painful process for a lot of people. And this vote, while a long time coming, is not going to make all of those knots suddenly release, or all the pain disappear.

But its a start."
posted by liquorice at 3:49 AM on December 7 [6 favorites]


It's time.

[FINALLY.]

I would deeply appreciate seeing photos of happy couples getting married, if any are celebrating the new law in that fashion!
posted by brainwane at 3:50 AM on December 7


I would deeply appreciate seeing photos of happy couples getting married, if any are celebrating the new law in that fashion!

That will apparently take at least 28 days, because of some kind of standard pre-notification period.

But on the other hand, couples who had to go overseas to places like New Zealand to get married will automatically have their marriages recognised.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:53 AM on December 7 [1 favorite]


Yay!
posted by kyrademon at 4:03 AM on December 7


I imagine finding a wedding venue may be hard for a month or two; presumably there's a backlog.
posted by acb at 4:13 AM on December 7


I am very pleased this has passed, but I am still furious, utterly furious, at how long and torturous a path it was to get here. We have better things to be dedicating our time to than whether any given two people in love should be allowed the same rights as any other. It's so frustrating. Can we have a postal survey about our offshore detention policy now, since they're apparently a thing? Can we chuck $122 million at developing some industry that isn't "dig shit out of the ground to burn?" I'd love to see the same effort from religious groups towards attacking the government about its offshore detention policy. And that's just the start. We've had this bitter, ugly discussion about something that should have been passed quietly into law years ago, and it's hurt too many people, and it's just sucked up so much bandwidth and emotional energy that could have been spent elsewhere.

Like, I'm really happy it's done, that love has won, and that it's apparent that the electorate is way, way less bigoted than their representatives, but honestly.
posted by Jilder at 4:13 AM on December 7 [38 favorites]


Yay eat shit Lyle
posted by Merus at 4:15 AM on December 7 [3 favorites]


From The Guardian's liveblog:
George Christensen begins his speech in support of the latest amendment that has nothing to do with the issue at hand, by criticising Labor for not having its conscience vote.

Then he turns to the public gallery.

“We have seen cheers from the gallery, cheering for the erosion of religious liberty.”

The public gallery breaks into applause.
Onya, public gallery.
posted by Merus at 4:16 AM on December 7 [44 favorites]


Fewer than five- there were four. (and abstentions.) Kevin Andrews and Tony Abbot among them. Two LNP MPS - I didn't see their names, and Russell Broadbent (has agitated for better treatment for refugees) and Bob Katter (no surprise).

Watching the footage- there was a moment after the last amendment was struck down that there were celebrations, and Tony Smith (speaker) had to call order several times. Interesting interaction with the public gallery through-out.

I am exhausted. I tuned in this morning and it was frustrating it took until just before 6pm to finally happen. I'm really happy with the bill- change "man and woman" to "two persons" and maintain that religious celebrants can continue to marry or not marry people based on those religious convictions. I'm a left wing person in a very right-wing society and social group, and marriage equality is something my husband and I don't agree on- so it was nice to get out of the house and see a massive rainbow.

(comment I put at the end of the previously:)

It's a facebook video, but the moment that the public gallery broke into song. (SBS account.)
posted by freethefeet at 4:22 AM on December 7 [8 favorites]


Oh and Jilder- I totally agree. It was good to see the "oh so now you care about human rights" #sosamanus comments on various social media throughout some of the speeches- Katter's in particular.
posted by freethefeet at 4:25 AM on December 7 [3 favorites]


Yeah, eat shit Lyle from me too.

Also eat shit Bob Katter and Andrew Broad, who stood solidly with one foot on the ridiculous and another one on the offensive in their interventions today. And eat shit you mealy-mouthed sanctimonious fuckwit Tony Abbot.

And eat shit Malcolm "have your cake and eat it too" Turnbull, for claiming any credit for this mess of a process, and voting yes on one of the so-called "religious freedom" (read: erosion of protection against discrimination) amendments.

On the good hand, yay marriage for all, and not just for Australians. I came to Australia on a marriage visa, as the prospective husband of an Aussie woman. From today, foreign same-sex partners of Australians will be able to do the same as I did.
posted by kandinski at 4:26 AM on December 7 [12 favorites]


(I promise this is my last comment- the reason I'm pedantic about the number of no votes, is less than five meant they didn't need to do a count of who was present on the yes side.) As Magda said: "parliament just about tipped over" (meaning all the people who had crossed the floor).
posted by freethefeet at 4:29 AM on December 7 [1 favorite]


Here you go... our other anthem fills the House of Representatives

Worst rendition of Khe Sanh ever.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:32 AM on December 7 [3 favorites]


Worst rendition of Khe Sanh ever.

No. Our anthem is You're The Voice by Johnny Farnham.
posted by Talez at 4:35 AM on December 7 [2 favorites]


Or Six Months in a Leaky Boat, by Split Enz.

No, wait. They're from that other place that gives a shit about people in leaky boats.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:37 AM on December 7 [4 favorites]


In case any non-Aussies like me are confused by who Lyle in the "Eat Shit Lyle" is referring to, since he doesn't show up in the Guadrnia article, it's apparently Lyle Shelton who seems to have been one of the lead agitators on the anti-side?
posted by anem0ne at 4:44 AM on December 7 [2 favorites]


The National Anthem is "It's a Long Way to the Top".

News.com (yeah, I know) says:
The House of Representatives has not confirmed the number of MPs who voted yes or abstained, as this is “standard practice” when there are fewer than five “no” votes, it confirmed.

However it’s believed Tony Abbott, Andrew Hastie, Michael Sukkar, Kevin Andrews, Scott Morrison, Alex Hawke and George Christensen abstained from voting, The Australian reports.
It's bullshit that this ever went to a vote, let alone an opinion poll / plebiscite / whatever that was. Human rights don't come from majority votes. Turnbull trying to revel in the outcome (and presumably try to get some reflected poll glory) made me feel sick. But it's done now, and that's what counts.

It won't actually be law until it gets Royal Assent, but that will hopefully be very soon.
posted by GeckoDundee at 4:45 AM on December 7 [4 favorites]


My hope is that this whole process has broken the backs of the conservatives. This was widely seen as Tony Abbott's game, and he lost, and he looked like a poor loser while doing it. The only thing Tony Abbott really had is that he didn't get formerly rejected by the electorate, he was replaced as leader, but this vote is easy to read as a rejection of his relevancy. His own electorate voted 75% against his position, and that was widely commented on.

In the three weeks since the marriage equality survey results were announced, Abbott's been far less visible in public. It's mostly been other conservatives who have been pushing the 'waaah we lost' amendments to Smith's bill, and they've looked increasingly ridiculous as the vote has gotten more and more lopsided.

Also, yes, Lyle is Lyle Shelton, who is the leader of the Australian Christian Lobby, Australia's most prominent conservative religious lobby group. As per usual for these things, he's a pretty shitty Christian.
posted by Merus at 4:46 AM on December 7 [4 favorites]


Tony Abbott proves himself a gutless wonder. Quelle surprise, I suppose.

Eat shit, Lyle.
posted by pompomtom at 4:46 AM on December 7 [3 favorites]


No voters:

David Littleproud
Russell Broadbent
Keith Pitt
Eric Abetz
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells
Slade Brockman
Barry O'Sullivan
Chris Ketter
John Williams
Helen Polley
Brian Burston
Fraser Anning
Bob Katter
Lucy Gichuhi
Cory Bernardi
posted by pompomtom at 4:50 AM on December 7 [2 favorites]


Where did you get that list from, pompomtom? (Don't mention the cricket. I did once, but I think I got away with it).
posted by GeckoDundee at 4:55 AM on December 7


Alice Workman's twitter feed (@workmanalice).
posted by pompomtom at 4:59 AM on December 7 [1 favorite]


On the good hand, yay marriage for all, and not just for Australians

Well, all men and women. It is possible to have a nonbinary gender on one's official documentation in Australia, in which case, no marriage for you.
posted by acb at 4:59 AM on December 7


Tony Abbott proves himself a gutless wonder. Quelle surprise, I suppose.

He's all mouth and no trousers. Sort of like a butch Milo.
posted by acb at 5:00 AM on December 7


I don't think that's right, acb. Marriage is for two people. Or am I missing your point?
posted by GeckoDundee at 5:02 AM on December 7 [3 favorites]


Yay!
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:11 AM on December 7




Yay!

Congratulations!
posted by Tabitha Someday at 6:28 AM on December 7


This is great news to start the day. Congratulations!
posted by Dip Flash at 6:32 AM on December 7


Great news! Hooray!
posted by kinnakeet at 6:39 AM on December 7


Buying bread from a man in Brussels
He was six-foot-four and full of muscles
I said, do you speak-a my language
He just smiled and gave me an equality sandwich

posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:46 AM on December 7 [16 favorites]


Congratulations Australia! I'm sorry you had to go through that stupid mail-in poll but glad it came to a good conclusion.
posted by Nelson at 7:25 AM on December 7 [2 favorites]


Like, I believe pretty strongly in restorative justice and that the impulse towards vengeance and punishment, while totally understandable is one best unindulged, but god damn, some part of me is so satisfied watching religious right folks scramble and flail and become increasingly unpopular and socially disapproved of. Like, here's a taste of your own fucking medicine.
posted by overglow at 7:31 AM on December 7 [11 favorites]


Congratulations, Australia!
posted by mkuhnell at 7:34 AM on December 7


Hooray!
posted by Going To Maine at 8:13 AM on December 7


Yay!
posted by chococat at 8:24 AM on December 7


Congrats, Australia! May Kim Davis stay far away from your land.
posted by greermahoney at 9:27 AM on December 7 [1 favorite]


In case any non-Aussies like me are confused by who Lyle in the "Eat Shit Lyle" is referring to

I didn't know, but honestly I've never met a Lyle who wouldn't benefit from eating a lot of shit, so I just went along with it.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:46 AM on December 7 [1 favorite]


Hooray!
posted by rednikki at 9:49 AM on December 7


I have nothing to say but FUCK YEAH AUSTRALIA!!!
posted by sotonohito at 10:35 AM on December 7


The Australian ambassador to France, Brendan Berne, celebrated the decision by proposing to his companion of 11 years.
posted by snakeling at 10:40 AM on December 7 [14 favorites]


I was in the chamber when the final vote happened. It was quite a moment. And the party outside afterwards was the biggest that Parliament House has ever seen.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 11:42 AM on December 7 [16 favorites]


Fantastic news, and long overdue!

I just wish it had taken place years ago, and that we could have avoided spending $122 million on an entirely pointless plebiscite. But onwards and upwards...
posted by greenhornet at 12:44 PM on December 7 [1 favorite]


I couldn’t help it - I watched the last three hours of debate. I have watched many a debate in Parliament, many Senate estimates hearing, many question times. I have never seen that level of naked, literally frothing, ranting bigotry before. This is a victory, yes, but it laid bare the soul of our parliamentarians, and it is very ugly indeed.

The nadir - Bob Katter variously claimed:
- gays stole the word ‘gay’ from ‘us’
- ‘gay’ is the most beautiful word in the English language, it means ‘light, ‘effervescent’... and “I DON’T KNOW ‘THEY’ HAVE THE HIDE” to claim such grand titles for themselves
- boys will be forced to wear dresses to school
- children were injected with AIDS because gay people wanted equality
- humans were ‘genetically programmed’ to be heterosexual and he had ‘3.5 million years of history on his side’,
and he just kept fucking going.

Andrew Broad went on a bizzare rant himself, spending several solid minutes roasting his own daughter for being terrible at electric guitar, while somehow trying to make a point about religious people not being able to discriminate against LGBTI people being like having his actual daughter breaking into your house to play guitar. (I wonder how that kid feels, having her dad diss her in front of the nation and having that recorded in Hansard forever).

The No side persistently invoked (and deliberately misquoted) the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in defence if religious freedom, while ignoring that the ICCPR includes freedom *from* religion and supports equality. Also all those pesky rights for refugees - these same people happily ignore the ICCPR when talking about offshore detention. The hypocrisy was nauseating.

Yes, they lost, and yes, now is the time to celebrate. But these pieces of shit are still there, in the Parliament, and other pieces of shit voted for them and will probably vote for them again. I can’t stop being angry about that.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 12:52 PM on December 7 [12 favorites]


Sorry, I think I just needed to get that off my chest, so I could do this:

🌈🌈🌈 YAY!🌈🌈🌈
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 1:01 PM on December 7 [5 favorites]


Great to have this news when my other country's news is so unremittingly dire, but Jilder's comment is spot on. All that money, all that unnecessary pain, to pacify fewer MHRs than you can count on one hand.

Also, I ain't spendin' any time on Bob Katter unless it's a newsflash that he's been torn to pieces by a crocodile in North Queensland.
posted by rory at 1:08 PM on December 7 [4 favorites]


during the debate, MP Tim Wilson proposes to his partner Ryan Patrick Bolger who watching from the gallery. He said yes!
posted by numaner at 1:25 PM on December 7 [3 favorites]


children were injected with AIDS

Wait what? Is this a commonly held belief? I've heard many terrible anti-gay smears over the years but that takes the biscuit.

Bob Katter is the same one who is concerned about crocodiles tearing people to pieces in North Queensland.
posted by Nelson at 1:31 PM on December 7


Eat shit Lyle.

Eat shit Abbott.
posted by turbid dahlia at 1:47 PM on December 7 [2 favorites]


Bob Katter is the same one who is concerned about crocodiles tearing people to pieces in North Queensland.

Yeah, I probably should have put a link to that over my joke a couple of comments up, in case anyone seriously thought I harbour some sort of bloodthirsty crocodile-attack urge. One person's reference to an inescapable meme is another person's non sequitur.
posted by rory at 1:51 PM on December 7


The GG has signed the act. It is now officially Australian law! 😍
posted by michswiss at 2:03 PM on December 7 [7 favorites]


Wait what? Is this a commonly held belief?

Commonly held? Doubtful. Like the crocodile thing or boys forced to wear dresses, it's just another one of Katter numerous fever dream imaginings.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:00 PM on December 7


No voters: (pompomtom)

Some of those are senators.
posted by freethefeet at 3:34 PM on December 7


Most of them.
posted by pompomtom at 3:42 PM on December 7


My sister met her girlfriend about six months after I met my dude. We've been in our respective relationships for about fifteen years now.

The day this passed the Senate, she started looking for a ring.

I'm so fucking happy, you guys.
posted by pseudonymph at 4:10 PM on December 7 [5 favorites]


children were injected with AIDS

Probably a garbled reference to 1983, before blood donation screening, when four Queensland babies died after they received transfusions which included HIV. (Also possibly a reference to an accident in 1999, after screening had been introduced, when a young Australian girl received a transfusion which included HIV).

No doubt he's deliberately connecting these events with ongoing protests against the Therapeutic Goods Administration's refusal to allow blood donations from men who have:
- 'had oral or anal sex with another man, even ‘safer sex’ using a condom' within the last 12 months
- 'had sex ([within the last 12 months] with or without a condom) with a male who you think may have had oral or anal sex (with or without a condom) with another man'.

It's your classic appeal to fear and prejudice.

(In no way do I subscribe to Katter's horrific "interpretation" of these events).
posted by brushtailedphascogale at 5:54 PM on December 7 [2 favorites]


🌈 🌈 🌈 🌈 🌈 🌈 🌈 🌈
posted by XtinaS at 7:04 PM on December 7


HOORAY!!!

*waves rainbow flag in one hand and Australian flag in the other*
posted by BlueHorse at 7:31 PM on December 7


The No side persistently invoked (and deliberately misquoted) the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in defence if religious freedom, while ignoring that the ICCPR includes freedom *from* religion and supports equality. Also all those pesky rights for refugees - these same people happily ignore the ICCPR when talking about offshore detention. The hypocrisy was nauseating.

In exactly the same way that they invoke "freedom of speech" for the purposes of Attorney-General George Brandis' famous line "everybody has a right to be a bigot"

...at the exact same time that the exact same people enacted legislation to imprison charity workers for up to 2 years for whistleblowing about the truth of what is being done to our political prisoners on Manus Island & Nauru.

Apparently, freedom of speech is OK if you want to be a bigot.

Suppressing freedom of speech is also OK, if your policies are bigoted and you want to keep their human rights abuses secret.

As you said, the hypocrisy is nauseating.
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:58 PM on December 7


during the debate, MP Tim Wilson proposes to his partner Ryan Patrick Bolger who watching from the gallery. He said yes!

Two things:
- Tim Wilson is a conservative piece of shit politician who happily campaigns for the oppression of other minority groups
- This proposal was a stunt, as he and his partner have been engaged for a while now
posted by crossoverman at 7:59 PM on December 8 [3 favorites]


Tim Wilson is my MP. He goes on a lot about religious freedom. I reckon he would have been on the "no" side of this debate if he wasn't gay himself.

Still, it's nice to have one issue on which I can agree with him.
posted by nnethercote at 9:27 PM on December 8 [2 favorites]


I just missed out on seeing this in person, the public gallery had filled up, fortunately Parliament House opened the theatre with a live screening and more heckling. It’s impressive how quickly things happened after the plebiscite result, although the strength of the vote makes me feel that the years of back and forth and discussion were unnecessary harm. I am glad to have our overseas marriage recognised finally.
posted by quercus23 at 1:46 AM on December 10 [2 favorites]


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