A new family code that provides for same-sex marriage is being discussed by Cuba’s legislature, the National Assembly of People's Power, before it goes to a popular referendum, reports Ian Ellis-Jones.
Haiti’s Senate has passed a bill that makes same sex marriage a crime and bans public displays of support for LGBTI rights. The bill — which would affect Haitian nationals and foreigners — will now go to the Chamber of Deputies, although a date for a vote has not been set.
Haitian law already defines marriage as being between a man and woman. But this bill seeks to expressly criminalise same sex marriage, with “parties, co-parties, and accomplices” to a same-sex marriage — meaning even those who simply attend — facing potential jail terms of up to three years and an $8000 fine.
With what appears a landslide win amid a high turnout, all indications are Ireland has voted "yes" to marriage equality in a referendum on legalising same-sex marriages. This is the first time marriage equality has been put to a popular vote anywhere in the world, and makes Ireland the 21st nation to legalise same-sex marriages.
Equal marriage rallies were held on November 23 in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. About 500 people braved wet weather to march for marriage equality in Melbourne. Speakers included United Firefighters national secretary Peter Marshall. He said: "How does a government have the right to say that your love is not equal? This leads to less workplace rights than heterosexuals. Unions do not like discrimination. You are supported, you will win this."
The same-sex marriage bill passed in the Australian Capital Territory on October 22 was the most important victory of the equal marriage rights campaign so far. It is the first time queer people have had the right to marry in Australia and follows a seven-year campaign in the ACT, and a nine-year struggle nationwide. Prime Minister Tony Abbott is likely to do everything in his power to overturn the legislation. The federal government will be taking it to the High Court next month.
This is a speech by Peter Boyle, the Socialist Alliance candidate for Sydney, at a rally for equal marriage rights in Sydney on May 25. *** Let me begin by acknowledging that we are gathering here today on stolen Aboriginal land, the land of the Gadigal people that was never ceded but taken by force from its Indigenous owners. We pay our respects to elders and warriors — past and present — who have battled for survival and justice for against tremendous odds.
The fight against homophobia is arguably the civil rights issue of our times. It is increasingly unacceptable that, in 2013, society continues to discriminate against people based on their sexuality. This is most obviously demonstrated by the continued refusal to grant equal marriage rights to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LBGTI) people.
About 600 people rallied for marriage equality in Melbourne on November 24. Other rallies took part around Australia. Jason Ball, the first openly queer AFL player, was a guest speaker at the event. "I figured I was gay when I was 16 years old," he said. "I knew that I would be treated differently. I was terrified I would disappoint my family. It was no surprise to me that queer and transgender youth are six times [more] likely to suffer depression or contemplate suicide. I wanted to be myself.
Churchgoers all over Sydney heard official statements from their denominations on June 17 with a firm and united message: “Marriage is only for heterosexual couples.” I needed to see this for myself, so I and four gay Christian friends summoned our courage and attended the evening service at St Andrew's Cathedral.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard said marriage equality was "inevitable" when she met with three same-sex couples on February 21 during a dinner organised by GetUp! The admission came despite her own opposition to equal marriage.
Tasmanian Greens leader Nick McKim will introduce a bill into state parliament this week in a third attempt to have same-sex marriage legalised in Tasmania. Labor Premier David Bartlett said he would not support the bill, believing same-sex marriage is a federal rather than a state issue. The latest Galaxy opinion poll showed 62% of Australians support equal marriage rights.
See a photo slilde show of the rally here. Hundreds of people took to the streets of Perth for the fourth time this year to protest against the federal government’s same-sex marriage ban. The November 6 rally heard from speakers including Kitty Hawkins representing GALE (Gay and Lesbian Equality), Rebecca Leighton from the Greens and a representative from the State School Teachers' Union.
In the lead-up to the 2004 federal election, legislation was passed against marriage rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people. The 2004 marriage ban became the catalyst for the development of a powerful protest movement. This movement has won a series of important victories. These include the repeal of 85 pieces of federal legislation discriminating against same-sex couples, but not the repeal of the discriminatory marriage ban. Recognition of civil unions has been won in the ACT, after a five-year struggle.
For most queer rights activists, the most pressing issue is queer marriage rights. Denying this basic right to a large number of Australians is abhorrent. In a democracy, the elected officials are supposed to represent the views of the people who elect them. The majority of Australians are in favor of giving same-sex couples the right to marry, but both major parties have shown their contempt for the opinions of the majority.
Thousands of people took to the streets on August 14 in support of legalising same-sex marriage and against the discriminatory policies of both major parties. In Sydney, Peter Boyle said about 3000 people rallied at Town Hall before marching to Taylor Square. Comedian and host of ABC’s Gruen Transfer Wil Anderson chaired the event.