17 Times The Marriage Equality Debate Was Too Much For Gay Australians In 2016
What a silly year.
1. We entered 2016 with the government planning to hold a national vote on marriage equality. But things started to go south in, well, January, when government MPs said they wouldn't abide by the result.
2. The next month Marriage Alliance decided the best way to illustrate the dangers of same-sex marriage was a picture of a woman hanging herself with a rainbow noose.
3. Come March, and things were heating up in the Senate over voting reform. What does that have to do with marriage? Well ...
1. The Coalition and the Greens teamed up against Labor and the crossbenchers on Senate voting reforms.
2. Crossbenchers tried to bring up other issues to stop the legislation being debated, but the Coalition and the Greens voted the debates down.
3. So crossbencher David Leyonhjelm brought forward the Greens' own bill on same-sex marriage for debate! (In parliament-world, this was a ~cheeky move~.)
4. The Coalition and the Greens voted the debate down.
5. EVERYONE LOST THEIR SHIT.
6. Nothing actually happened re marriage equality.
4. In June Lyle Shelton from the Australian Christian Lobby said the cowardice of Australia's political leaders on LGBTI rights was causing “unthinkable things to happen”, like those in Nazi Germany.
5. Eyes rolled across the country when treasurer Scott Morrison said he had experienced bigotry because he opposes marriage equality.
6. Later in June Malcolm Turnbull confirmed that not even cabinet members would be bound by the result of the plebiscite.
7. Then Morrison, Julie Bishop and other Coalition MPs kept saying they would definitely "respect the result" of the plebiscite... but didn't say WHAT THAT ACTUALLY MEANS!!!
8. In September – after the Coalition had won the election and everyone was back in parliament – supporters of marriage equality loudly said they wanted to work together... while introducing separate, near-identical bills on the same day.
9. Then, an Australian group used Nelson Mandela's image and words to argue against same-sex marriage and the Safe Schools Coalition's anti-bullying program.
10. It created such a stir that the Nelson Mandela Foundation actually responded to the flyers, saying it was a "misrepresentation" to imply the civil rights leader opposed same-sex marriage.
"As South Africa’s first democratically elected president, Nelson Mandela signed into law a constitution that stood for the rights of all," the statement read.
"We object to the misuse of the legacy of someone who worked precisely for the recognition of such rights."
11. During debate on a transgender rights bill in September, a politician said people in same-sex couples would get sex changes just so they could get married.
The South Australian bill would remove the requirement for transgender people to have surgery before changing the sex on their birth certificate. Liberal MP Adrian Pederick said it was a, “Trojan horse for gay marriage”.
“You may have a gay couple, whether it is two ladies or two gentlemen, and to get around the federal Marriage Act one of them decides that if they are a man they will become a woman and if they are a woman with a lesbian partner they will become a man,” he said.
12. Remember the rainbow noose meme from February? In October Marriage Alliance spokesperson Sophie York conceded it was, "probably too dramatic".
13. Labor took its sweet time deciding how it would vote on the marriage plebiscite... earning the ire of politicians on the left and right.
14. Then Labor and the Greens had a minor spat over a photo opportunity and a novelty-sized thank you card.
15. And then the plebiscite was voted down in the Senate... and everyone spent a lot of time yelling at everyone else that THEY were the ones delaying marriage equality.
Meanwhile gay couples were like, "OK, cool, but we still can't get married".