from the changing-tide dept.
Australians have voted 61.6% to approve of same-sex marriage, and the Turnbull-led government has said it would aim to pass legislation by Christmas:
Australians have overwhelmingly voted in favour of legalising same-sex marriage in a historic poll. The non-binding postal vote showed 61.6% of people favour allowing same-sex couples to wed, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said. Jubilant supporters have been celebrating in public spaces, waving rainbow flags and singing and dancing.
A bill to change the law was introduced into the Senate late on Wednesday. It will now be debated for amendments. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said his government would aim to pass legislation in parliament by Christmas. "[Australians] have spoken in their millions and they have voted overwhelmingly yes for marriage equality," Mr Turnbull said after the result was announced. "They voted yes for fairness, yes for commitment, yes for love."
The issue only went to a voluntary postal vote after a long and bitter debate about amending Australia's Marriage Act. The result on Wednesday brings an end to what was at times a heated campaign. The vote itself had been criticised by same-sex marriage supporters, many of whom said it was unnecessary when parliament could debate the issue directly.
In a 5-4 decision, the United States Supreme Court has ruled that states can not prevent same-sex couples from marrying and must recognize their marriages from other states. In the majority opinion by Justice Kennedy it is stated:
The Court, in this decision, holds same-sex couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry in all States. It follows that the Court also must hold—and it now does hold—that there is no lawful basis for a State to refuse to recognize a lawful same-sex marriage performed in another State on the ground of its same-sex character.
It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization's oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right. The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed. It is so ordered.
Taiwan's Council of Grand Justices (大法官) ruled that the current civil law banning same sex marriage is unconstitutional and that the legislature has two years to either amend the law or create a new law.
Legislation enforcing the court's ruling is already working its way through the legislature, where both the ruling and major opposition parties support legalisation as do a majority of Taiwanese people and President Tsai Ing-wen.
—news.com.au (News Corp)
A large percentage of the public in Taiwan has accepted the idea of same-sex marriage because leaders have elevated liberal social causes to show the island's democratic credentials in the face of China, a political rival that restricts free speech and association.
But the debate has prompted a backlash, with mass protests by conservatives in recent months.
- The Washington Post
- The Washington Times
- The New York Times
- Reuters (on reaction in PRC)
- Voice of America (U.S. government)
- The Sydney Morning Herald (opinion)
- Taiwan News (on media reaction)
Same-sex marriage has been officially signed into law in Australia, a day after MPs overwhelmingly approved a historic bill. Australia's Governor-General Peter Cosgrove signed off on the law on Friday - a formality required to enact the legislation. The vote on Thursday set off rarely matched celebrations in parliament, including cheers, hugs and a song. Supporters celebrated across Australia, many donning rainbow colours.
"So it is all done. It is part of the law of the land," Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said after a brief ceremony on Friday.
He said the law would take effect immediately after midnight.
The first marriage ceremonies will happen from 9 January, given couples must give a month's notice of their intention to wed.
MP Tim Wilson proposed to his gay partner from the floor of Parliament during the debate.
Austria's top court has ruled that same-sex couples can marry from 2019 at the latest, bringing the often conservative Alpine country into line with more than a dozen other European nations. Gay marriage is now recognised in more than 20 countries, of which 16 are in Europe. "The Constitutional Court nullified with a decision on December 4, 2017 the legal regulation that until now prevented such couples from marrying," a statement released on Tuesday said. It said however that the current rules would remain in place until December 31, 2018 unless Austria's parliament changes the law before then.