Originally published in Crikey.com.au on Wednesday, 5 September 2012
According to the latest Galaxy poll, 62% of Australians support gay marriage and 75% believe it will be legalised. That’s certainly reflected in the questions readers most want asked of the independent MPs in Parliament.
A question on marriage equality from Shane Bazzi tops the ladder in the Crikey/OurSay Grill the Independents forum, which gives people the chance to post, vote and comment on questions that will be asked to the lower house independents by Crikey next week. He asks:
“Given that the majority of Australians now support marriage equality for same-s-x couples, as indicated by polls and the unprecedented submissions supporting marriage equality in the parliamentary inquiries, how will you vote when the legislation comes before parliament and how do you explain your stance? Should all Australians be given the same legal and social rights, and not discriminated against on the basis of their s-xual orientation?”
The prolonged and stagnant debate in Parliament over gay marriage frustrated many other OurSay commenters to also condemn the government for not representing the interests of the Australian public. Bazzi’s question has received 2742 votes.
In 2004, John Howard’s government enshrined the definition of “marriage” as “the union between a man and a woman”. Before this, “marriage” wasn’t legally defined. This, Bazzi argues, is blatant discrimination.