Articles on Same-sex marriage

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Massachusetts couple Marcia Hams and her partner Susan Shepard had a cake to celebrate their historic first same-sex wedding in 2004, but some bakers feel unable to oblige on religious grounds. EPA C.J. Gunther

Cakegate: a story of the clash of religious freedom and gay rights

When a baker refuses, on religious grounds, to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, the right to freedom of religion comes into conflict with the right to freedom from discrimination.
The march towards equal marriage rights in Ireland is well ahead of Australia, yet the level of public support in each nation is remarkably similar. William Murphy/Flickr

The battle for middle Ireland and Australia over marriage equality

Support for equal marriage rights in Ireland and Australia is remarkably similar: 71% in Ireland and 72% in Australia. The key difference is that Australian politicians are choosing not to listen.
The US Supreme Court will consider whether state bans on same-sex marriage are constitutional. Flickr/vpickering

Court to rule on same-sex marriage and American freedom

The US Supreme Court agreed last Friday to hear four cases about same-sex marriage. Essentially, this means that, having previously avoided doing so, the court will finally consider whether or not same-sex…
The extraordinary synod of bishops on family is meeting for two weeks at the Vatican. EPA/L'Osservatore Romano

Pope sets off a ‘gay earthquake’? No, the church has hardly moved

A report of debate from the first half of the extraordinary synod of Catholic bishops meeting in Rome has been described as a “pastoral earthquake” and a “seismic shift in Rome” for praising gay relationships…
Some of the first to take advantage of the new law. Will Oliver

First stats show no stampede down the aisle for same-sex couples

The first statistics on same-sex marriages in England and Wales show a disappointing take-up in the three months since the right to marry was extended to lesbian and gay couples. According to figures released…
Philip Nitschke and David Leyonhjelm have appealed libertarian ideals in their arguments for euthanasia and same-sex marriage respectively. Joe Castro & Luca Koch/AAP

Strange bedfellows: euthanasia, same-sex marriage, and libertarianism

The suspension of Philip Nitschke’s medical registration, and the events leading up to it, has sparked one of the most heated discussions about euthanasia in Australia for some time. What’s surprising…
Public support for change that would enable Tony Abbott’s sister Christine (right) to marry her same-sex partner is much stronger than for ‘axing the tax’, but the PM is selectively deaf to the people’s voice. AAP/Joe Castro

Beyond hypocrisy to absurdity: the fortunes of same-sex marriage

Disaffection with Australian politics seems visceral and entrenched. An Essential poll in late June found that only 25% of those polled had trust in the federal parliament. Discussing this poll, Michelle…
Same-sex parents are more likely to share child care and work responsibilities more equitably than other families. Jessica Lucia/Flickr

Kids from same-sex families fare as well as peers – or better

It’s often suggested that children with same-sex parents have poorer outcomes because they’re missing a parent of a particular sex. But research my colleagues and I published in the journal BMC Public…
A woman protests in Britain against the stoning of people for sexual ‘crimes’. Brunei is moving to apply the Sharia law penalty to gay people. EPA/Facundo Arrizabalaga

As region’s homophobia turns deadly, let’s stand up for rights

Although Australia does not yet allow same-sex couples to marry, it is not a country that is generally described as homophobic. The days of it being a crime to be gay here are, thankfully, a relic of a…
The more the west recognises and protects gay rights, the more African and Asian nations (such as Uganda and India) seem determined to go in the opposite direction. AAP

Should the west be held accountable for gay persecution?

Media coverage of gays and lesbians in 2014 has followed a very different trend to previous years. Rather than good news stories about love and weddings, the majority of reports relate to violence, persecution…
The High Court has ruled the ACT’s same-sex marriage law invalid, citing its inconsistency with the federal Marriage Act. AAP/Alan Porritt

ACT law delivers neither marriage nor equality: the High Court’s verdict

The ACT’s Marriage Equality (Same Sex Act) 2013 produced neither a marriage nor equality. Instead it produced inconsistency, leaving the law completely inoperative. Those who exchanged marriage vows last…
The High Court will this week begin deliberating on whether or not the ACT’s same-sex marriage bill is consistent with the Constitution. AAP/Alan Porritt

Same-sex marriage and the High Court: previewing the arguments

This week, the High Court will begin hearing the Commonwealth’s challenge to the ACT’s Marriage Equality (Same Sex) Act 2013. But don’t expect lofty rhetoric about equality; the case is really about the…
It’s set to be a big few months for the High Court of Australia. What are the key cases to watch? petelawley

The High Court – coming to a Centre Stage near you

In coming months, the High Court – the highest court in Australia and the final arbiter on the meaning of the Constitution – will decide several high-profile cases. These decisions, which may result in…
The terms on which the broader public conversation is taking place are remarkably narrow. Robyn Ramsay

The trouble with gay marriage

In most public discussions, the issue of same-sex marriage is posed as a simple question – for or against? – where to be for or against is to be, more or less, for or against gay people. Although it doesn’t…
It all comes down to matters of interpretation, and the interpretation that counts is that of the High Court. Image from shutterstock.com

Explainer: can the Commonwealth override the ACT on marriage equality?

The ACT’s Marriage Equality Bill, which is expected to pass parliament later this month, has revived the controversy about who can legislate for same-sex marriage, with the Commonwealth proposing to challenge…
ALP powerbroker Paul Howes has called on the party to enforce a binding vote to support same-sex marriage. But where does it fit in with the narrative of gay rights in Australia? AAP/Dave Hunt

Questions of conscience? The ALP, gay rights and same-sex marriage

Suddenly, it seems the Right faction of the Australian Labor Party has embraced gay causes - or as we now say, LGBTI ones. On the campaign trail for the party leadership, Bill Shorten floated the idea…
Kevin Rudd rebukes Pastor Matt Prater on the issue of gay marriage. View the segment here.

FactCheck Q&A: are people born gay?

“I do not believe people, when they are born, choose their sexuality. They are gay if they are born gay.” - Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, ABC TV’s Q&A, 2 September. Responding to a question from audience…
Love is still a modern goal, and its connection with individual freedom, agency and autonomy makes it a difficult idea to reject. Peetje2

Does same-sex marriage necessarily mean ‘radical love’?

Earlier this year, Byron Bay mayor Simon Richardson announced that he wants his council to pass a motion recognising same-sex marriage and to set up a “love park”. That the theme of the park is love rather…

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