It’s insane, but somehow Australia doesn’t yet have marriage equality — and they might not for many more years, due to an acute lack of political leadership.
Now, the country’s first openly gay Aboriginal legislator is expressing his (entirely justified!) exasperation with his dumb colleagues. His name’s Chansey Paech, and he gave a great speech this week to the Northwest Territory parliament:
“I am young, I am gay, I am black: a true-blue Territorian… I am a Centralian man. I am the nation’s first openly gay Indigenous parliamentarian. I am eternally proud of who I am and where I come from. I own it and wear it with pride. … I look forward to the day when this country will recognise my rights as equal rights, when I too can marry in my country, on my country, as a recognised first Australian.”
In addition to fighting for LGBT equality, he’s also fighting for Aboriginal equality. The Australian Constitution doesn’t quite recognize indigenous people, and so they get substandard treatment from the white colonists.
Those white colonists, incidentally, are the ones standing in the way of marriage equality. For a time, politicians were promising a popular vote on marriage — but the catch was that it was going to be non-binding, and extremely expensive. In other words, it would be a ton of money spent with no demonstrable outcome. The Defining Marriage podcast’s been covering the frustrating news for months.
At that, LGBT Australians protested that the politicians should actually, you know, do their jobs and pass laws instead of spending hundreds of millions of dollars to punt important questions to voters. So now to popular vote idea looks like it’s pretty dead; and various marriage bills are stalling in Parliament because everyone’s afraid to bring them to a vote — even though an overwhelming majority of Australians support marriage equality. Great job, Australians, no wonder England sent you to an island.