Breaking down: Australia’s same-sex marriage referendum

Australia is currently undertaking an important vote regarding the legalisation of same-sex marriage. The result of this referendum will then be taken into government where they will make a decision.

So why is this important for people pro-gay marriage and what is their viewpoint?

Having this initial referendum support them would give their cause an edge when the government looks into the case.

Australia would also make moves forward towards many English speaking countries that have also already legalised gay marriage such as their neighbour New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom and America. With many nations (particularly Western and some South American) legalising or at recognising same-sex marriage, more acceptance has developed across the western world and it has become less abnormal. Legalisation would give gay couples the same rights other countries have permitted for years.

In this referendum, the “yes” campaign has had to remind people what they are voting for. There has been confusion developed from the “No” campaign and their suggestion that legalisation would lead to a “sliperly slope” (discussed later). Those who are pro-same-sex marriage, have had to re-emphasise that this vote is about marriage equality and not other things.

Why is this important for people anti-gay marriage and what is their viewpoint?

Similar to before, being able to say the public does not support the legalisation of gay marriage would give their viewpoint an edge in parliament.

Many arguments opposing gay marriage have religious roots, suggesting it is unbiblical and against the will of God. Australia originally colonised by England has a Christian heritage and this would go against this. Some scientific arguments suggest the fact homosexuality does not lead to reproduction is an indication that it is therefore unnatural.

A key argument that has surfaced during this referendum is that the legalisation of same-sex marriage will lead develop a “slippery slope”. This has been linked to the safe schools program being introduced around the country, to aid schools and staff in making their campuses a safer and more friendly environment for those in the LBGTQ community.  There are concerns that gender education will become compulsory like it has become in some areas of Canada and parents will no say over their child’s participation.

What way do the votes appear to be heading?

According to news.com.au, a poll conducted predicts the vote will be a solid “yes” (61.5%) in support opposed to 17.5% against. Special Minister of State Scott Ryan believes the result will reflect something similar with two-thirds of votes also saying yes.

The same poll interestingly found that younger voters (18-24) were more likely to vote yes (80+%) with the percentage dropping as age increased.

 

 

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