Slog News & Arts

Line Out

Music & Nightlife

« When Bad Meets Evil | Breakfast of Champions »

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Same-Sex Mirage

posted by on April 29 at 8:53 AM

Australian gays and lesbians to get marriage-in-all-but-name by mid-2009. The proposed Australian solution for, as their new prime minister put it, “a group of our fellow Australians who have suffered discriminations under Commonwealth laws for far too long,” is similar to the “civil partnership” law in the UK, which provides all the same rights and responsibilities as marriage while saving those two magic syllables for insecure heterosexuals.

Everyone in the UK, of course, refers to civil partnerships as marriage, so… the difference is semantic. But the benefits to gay and lesbian couples—including transnational same-sex couples—are very real.

Could a similar solution be offered in the United States? Not for the foreseeable future. We’ll need a more liberal Supreme Court, for starters, one that is willing to scrap the anti-gay marriage amendments passed by most states over the last eight years. That court doesn’t exist now, and we’re unlikely to see that court for decades to come, of course, if John McCain gets his gray, hairy ass elected president.

RSS icon Comments


how do you know it's hairy? i envisioned it sort of bald and dimply, like cottage cheese.

Posted by jameyb | April 29, 2008 9:22 AM

wonder what mel gibson, no friend to gays, has to say about this.

Posted by scary tyler moore | April 29, 2008 9:32 AM

All I know is a legal marriage in Canada is recognized by all NAFTA signatories.


Posted by Will in Seattle | April 29, 2008 9:46 AM

To fix the Supreme Court, you need to (a) beat John McCain and (b) throw out fake moderate Senators who voted for Roberts and Alito. (I'm looking at you Susan Collins and Gordon Smith.)

People For the American Way has a site devoted to it:

That said, I don't think the court is the biggest obstacle right now. It'd be better to get a state or two to actually enact gay marriage -- maybe New York or California.

Posted by Drew | April 29, 2008 9:59 AM

We'll only have true equality when we have shotgun gay marriages.

Posted by Greg | April 29, 2008 10:17 AM

there is a group of the population is that is only holding out because of those two syllables. i've always thought to get the rights first would be easier if a different word was used.

(in fact, i've met many christian types who are in favor civil-unions and who think that civil-unions have all the same rights as legal marriage. they don't know better nor do they care to learn about something they don't view as their battle.)

for the same reason, i think if you started calling [hetro] marriage by this new term, it might make things go just a little smoother as well.

Posted by infrequent | April 29, 2008 10:31 AM

civil partnership does not have a nice verb tense. when asked if you are single, do you say, "no, i'm civil partnered." or "civil unioned"? on most forms there are only check boxes for single, married and divorced. they need to add partnered and unpartnered. civil unpartnership. uncivily unparntered. that's pretty i'm rambling.

Posted by b | April 29, 2008 10:31 AM

We'll only have true equality when we have shotgun gay marriages.

An admirable attemt at huomr, but unfortunately it doesn't make sense since a shotgun marriage is defined as a marriage that is necessary due to pregnancy. That's one deal us queers don't have to worry about.

Posted by Mike in MO | April 29, 2008 10:43 AM

It's not about the word, it's about the thing. You can't have pancakes when you don't have pancakes. You can't have marriage when you don't have marriage. You can't have equality when you don't have equality.

And I think it's hysterical that the PM thinks gays have suffered discrimination far too long, except for some more discrimination which they need to suffer for an indefinite period of time longer.

Posted by whatevernevermind | April 29, 2008 10:47 AM

I'm waiting until I hear the Australian Federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland make the announcement detailing the changes today (April 30th 2008 AEST) before I celebrate.

While there is talk about treating same-sex couples in the same manner as opposite-sex de-facto couples (which would mean that existing federal law regarding de-facto relationships might apply) it's not clear to many Australian same-sex couples what action, if any, they would need to take to be protected under these proposed legal changes. Will couples under the existing Tasmanian and pending Victorian relationship recognition schemes be automatically covered? As a Washington State resident I’m keen to know what type of relationships from other countries or states might be recognized.

Just how many times do I need to be married, civil unionized, and domestically partnered in order to be protected in Australia and in the United States?

The Same-sex marriage in Australia Wikipedia page seems fairly up to date on current and pending Federal, State/Territory, and Local legislation.

This is complicated by the Rudd Government's metaphorical undies being in a knot about what kind of relationship recognition schemes they will allow the states and territories to establish. The government of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), which is similar in many ways to the District of Columbia here in the US, is still trying to get it's Civil Partnership Bill into law over objections from the federal Attorney-General who is only opposed to the ‘marriage-like’ ceremonial component of civil partnerships.


Posted by The Gay Curmudgeon | April 29, 2008 12:34 PM

Comments Closed

In order to combat spam, we are no longer accepting comments on this post (or any post more than 14 days old).