The Australian parliament would like your opinion

It’s a survey on gay marriage: they want to know if they ought to legalize it, not require a priest to ordain it, and recognize same sex marriages from other countries. I’m happy to throw the international opinion into the mix, and you Australians ought to speak out.


  1. says

    Thanks PZ!

    Also, in case anybody’s wondering, I think either bill would be OK. Mr Bandt’s is possibly the marginally better option? I’m not quite sure.

    We really do need Aussies to sign this, and contribute submissions; it’s been stacked by Christians so far.

  2. Aliasalpha says

    Wow, first progress on a R rating for games & now progress on same sex marriage. Seems we might finally be growing up as a nation…

    Nah, that’ll never really happen

  3. StevoR says

    They wanted my opinion? (Now finally an Aussie one for Aussies especially!) Well I’ve given it to them :

    Clicked the ‘agree’ button thrice, the ‘yes’ box ticked twice and written this (my bit NOT in bold) :

    Can you explain your reasons to the above questions?

    Because love is love and we’re now living in the year 2012 not 1912.

    Because all people should have the right to marry and have their committed long term relationships treated equally – legally and culturally – regardless of sexual orientation.

    Because there is NO valid reason to do otherwise despite various homophobic claims to the contrary.

    Because legalising equal marriage will bring happiness to a great many people (who also vote and spend and participate in society and politics) and cause no harm to others who will quickly learn to be more accepting and less homophobic.

    Because other nations and US States have already shown there is nothing to fear from gay marriage.

    Because it is time – long overdue actually – that this happened.

    Word limit is 250, my computer word counter makes that just 96 words.

    Plus :

    Do you have any further comments on the legal implications of these Bills? (Please limit your response to 250 words)

    These bills make Australia legally and socially more of what we’ve always claimed to be – a nation of the “Fair Go for all.” Legally, these bills would bring our nation into compliance with human rights and anti-discrimination obligations not to discriminate against others unfairly on the basis of their sexual orientation and advance us legally to a more humane and enlightened state than we have, hitherto, existed in.

    68 words by my computer – grand total of 164 words for both boxes.

    And done and sent and cheers for this PZ.

    As our nation’s most memorable political slogan goes :

    “Its TIME!”

    – Gough Whitlam mid-1970’s if anyone is curious or cares.)

  4. StevoR says


    The Committee thanks you for your participation in this survey and values your contribution to the inquiry. Interim responses to the survey will be published on the website from time to time.

    Please note that the closing date for responses to this survey is Friday 20 April 2012.

    Keep up-to-date with the inquiry by visiting or phoning the inquiry’s voice message telephone line 02 6277 4969.

    In case this is helpful – hope this is okay to post here – my apologies and please let me know if not.

  5. StevoR says

    Posted in Pointless Poll

    Hopefully, maybe this time this particular poll isn’t point-less but pointed and may actually change things? We can hope?

  6. gardengnome says

    Been there and done that! To me marriage is simply a formality and I can’t see what all the fuss is about, this dispute doesn’t affect me in any way, shape or form but I hate discrimination of any sort – especially when that discrimination is inspired by religious bigotry – therefore I automatically support the proposed change in the marriage law.

  7. Blondin says

    Although I live in Canada I am a naturalized Aussie so I’ve done by bit and had my say. Fuck Tony Abbott!

  8. jennyxyzzy says

    Here’s my response:

    1. Objection to same sex marriage is grounded in religious beliefs. Religious beliefs should play no part in the making of laws in this country.
    2. The scientific consensus is that homosexuality is not a choice. Why then should a part of our society be denied access to this institution, which according to current research, comes with significant financial, social and health advantages?
    3. When our government enacts laws to discriminate against a section of the community, it is sending a signal to that community that they are not welcome, with disastrous negative consequences for the well-being of affected individuals.

    It’ll be interesting to see the results of the “survey”. I’m hoping that they use this more as a request for comment, using the tick boxes simply to help sort responses to better analyse the content of the comments, and not actually tally up who one the beauty contest.

  9. baal says

    Authorised celebrants, being ministers of religion, should not be obliged to perform same sex marriages. (Note: authorised celebrants, being ministers of religion, are not currently obliged to perform any marriage)

    Weird question on the poll.

    I’ve yet to see a pro-gay marriage supporter demand, ask or plead for ministers of religion to be forced to marry anyone against their will. I’ve never heard of any minister being forced to marry anyone against their (the ministers) will.

  10. Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD says

    baal it’s mostly because the people up in arms against it are using that lie as an argument against it. It’s a stupid argument and wrong, but it needs to be addressed I guess.

    And yes, already put in my response.

  11. gragra says

    Done, and linked to “Australian Abroad”.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Americans often have some bizarre beliefs, but at least they are prepared to fight for them (and those who are against them). A majority of aussies have apparently been in favour of same sex marriage for quite some time, and yet it’s still not law. We’re an apathetic bunch.

  12. scottrobson says

    Done. My written responses were nice and short. Either bill is fine. I think the Jones Bill makes it clear that a celebrant is not obliged to marry anyone and that while a marriage must be entered into voluntarily, so must it be voluntary for a celebrant to perform a ceremony. Seems reasonable.

  13. aboodalalapalooza says

    I am a homosexual living in a bigotted islamic country called Kuwait and I still would not be supported should I ever think of coming out of the closet, like the rest of the western countries whom I look up to as “The People of Hope”.

    I think all countries must support LGBT and all kinds of marriage just as long as humanity tries to distance themselves in heavy thinking and try not to drag strict religions with them. Because that can ruin homosexualities and other open-minded people to be more accepted to the world.

  14. catnip67 says

    Added my 2cents worth. Not before time, although I’m doubtful it will pass with Julia promising a conscience vote and Tony Abbott as OL. At least it’s the beginning of the journey.

  15. says

    My reason why was very short:

    It’s not the government’s place to decide who can marry whom (beyond ensuring human rights are respected, such as the protection of the under-age.)

  16. bigchrisdid says

    Remember, you need to agree, disagree, agree, yes, yes. The disagree does imply you want to enforce your choice on someone else though. Thoughts?

    And for the comments:
    Australia is a country that accepts equality of sexuality as a state that progresses our social condition and a right for all people. Gay marriage is marriage. The vilification of non-heterosexual people can only be stopped by refusing to accept it, without compromise.

  17. bassmanpete says

    It’ll be interesting to see the results of the “survey”.

    Click on the link “Interim summary of responses” near the bottom of the page. It’s running roughly 2 to 1 against at the moment which I found surprising. Probably pastors have been urging their flocks to take the survey and ensure that the government gets the “right” response. I hadn’t even heard about this survey until PZ mentioned it above.

    @ bigchrisdid

    I agreed to all three. I think forcing ministers of religion to do something they don’t want to will only strengthen their opposition to it (harden their hearts?). Anyway, as the question states, they’re not obliged to perform any marriage.

  18. aboodalalapalooza says

    Is it okay if I vote for same sex marriage in Austrailia if I live in Kuwait or even though I am from Kuwait? Because I too would love to support any country who will legalize same sex marriages.

  19. gaspode says

    Click on the link “Interim summary of responses” near the bottom of the page. It’s running roughly 2 to 1 against at the moment which I found surprising.

    The interim summary of responses page is currently showing stats “As at Thursday 15 March 2012”, pre pharyngulation. It is also only showing a total of 27,406 votes so you can expect it to change considerably.

    As an Australian I have no problem with non Australians participating, I’m just stunned at the stupidity of performing a self selected internet poll as a way of gathering information for decision making.

  20. amarantha says

    I declined to take their survey and instead sent the following via email:

    “I am glad to see these bills introduced, as marriage equality is long overdue in this country. However, I think it is inappropriate to hold a survey on the matter. People’s civil rights are not up for debate.

    The law as it stands is a violation of the civil rights of same-sex-attracted and gender-nonconforming Australians. There should be no vote on whether we finally stop violating these rights; it should just be done because it’s the right thing to do.

    Practising religion does not give anyone the right to impose their religious practices upon others, nor does the existence of religious constituents give the Government any right or obligation to impose religious laws on the rest of the population.

    What this survey says to those oppressed by the current law is: “If your fellow citizens express enough hate, we will continue to oppress you”.

    Defy the hate; change the law.”