After an eleven-year fight, the Australian government has recently come under intensified pressure to let LGBTI couples marry. The success of marriage equality in Ireland and then the United States has made Australia more isolated. It seems clear that the marriage equality campaign is going to win. Nevertheless, the government is still trying to stall marriage equality. Many blame the Liberal Party. It is true that Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s desperate measures to suppress the conscience vote show just how homophobic the party is. But the Labor Party should not be let off the hook.
After two years of campaigning, Scotland’s independence referendum has ended. It saw victory for the No side, the opponents of independence with 55% backing compared to 45% who backed a Yes to independence. The referendum saw an unprecedented level of engagement and debate throughout Scotland. This was reflected in the huge and unprecedented turnout of 84.59%, reversing the trend of recent decades of dwindling poll turnouts. Some rural areas even recorded 100% turnout.
The Greens and the Australian Labor Party signed an agreement on September 1 to form a minority government on certain conditions, one of which was support for amendments to the constitution to recognise Aboriginal people. The government has agreed to hold a referendum on the issue. The proposal has sparked debate among Aboriginal activists about its usefulness for the Aboriginal rights struggle.
This article first appeared at TamilNet. * * * More than 10,000 Tamils in Australia registered to cast their votes in the referendum across Australia over April 17 and 18 on the creation of independent Tamil homeland in Sri Lanka, reported SBS Australia, citing organisers.