Saturday, December 03, 2011

A win for the Aussie good guys

Today the Australian Labor Party (ALP), the current party of Government, made marriage equality a part of that party's policy platform. The vote was at their national conference in Sydney, and came after the adoption of another amendment promoted by Prime Minister Julia Gillard to make it a conscience vote in the Australian House. That means that ALP Members of Parliament will be free to vote as they choose, and won't have to vote the way the party tells them to.

The Opposition, meanwhile, may not allow a conscience vote among its MPs and, if they don't, it almost certainly means the measure won't pass the Australian House. Still, this is historic progress for Australia and is a major step toward full equality.

New Zealand adopted marriage-in-nearly-every-way-but-name civil unions in 2005, and last week Queensland became the first Australian state to follow suit with its own civil unions, but there's no federal law allowing civil unions or marriage—yet. That's why the ALP's vote matters—it's moving Australia as a nation toward equality.

Progress toward equality is always a good thing and should be celebrated. So, well done, Australian Labor Party! Now, make it law!

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