The aftermath of marriage equality in Australia: Religious freedom and LGBTQ+ non-discrimination
Richardson-Self, L and Fielder, B and Ezzy, D, The aftermath of marriage equality in Australia: Religious freedom and LGBTQ+ non-discrimination, Same-Sex Relationships, Law and Social Change, Routledge, F Hamilton and G Noto La Diega (ed), UK, pp. 91-108. ISBN 9780429021589 (2020) [Research Book Chapter]
Marriage equality is a recent achievement in Australia, passing the Parliament on 7 December 2017 and receiving royal assent the following day. Australia is the 26th country to recognise same-sex marriages, following what activists called the ‘long march toward equality.’ Internationally, formal same-sex relationship recognition first started gaining momentum in the late 1980s, following from the gay and lesbian liberation, and, later, LGBTQ+ rights movements. Broadly speaking, the various strands of these movements can be cast into three categories: first, legalising same-sex sexual activity; second, the introduction of anti-discrimination measures, including anti-discrimination law; and third, legislating for the recognition of same-sex relationships, either as marriages or some other state-recognised union. Tasmania was first to formally recognise same-sex relationships in Australia with the introduction of the Relationships Act 2003 (Tas), which came into effect on 1 January 2004. With this, the tacit assumption that marriages in Australia must be comprised of one (cisgender, heterosexual) man and one (cisgender, heterosexual) woman was increasingly challenged. Thus, to eradicate any doubt as to which couples may marry according to Australian federal law, the Howard government introduced the Marriage Amendment Bill 2004 (Cth), which restricted the union to one man and one woman, and passed with bipartisan support from both major parties (the Australian Labor Party and the Liberal Party of Australia). This bill came into effect as the Marriage Amendment Act 2004 (Cth) on 16 August that same year.
Research Book Chapter
same-sex marriage, LGBT, religious freedom, postal vote