Australian LGBT rights activist: “Anything is possible”
April 30, 2010
As posted by Rodney Croome on thegaymarriageblog.com:
"He writes here for The Gay Marriage Blog, to explain just how quickly a state or country can go from jail for gays to relationship recognition. If you are in Africa, Kansas, Poland or China, or anywhere without equality – this story is an inspiration.
(Download a PDF of the article here, or read on below)
"In a few short years, Tasmania went from having Australia’s worst laws on same-sex relationships to the best. It was an unlikely and profound transformation which holds out hope for full legal equality for same-sex couples across Australia.
"Up until 1997 Tasmania still criminalised male-to-male relationships with life imprisonment, despite the repeal of similar less-stringent laws in the other Australian states. For years in Tasmania gay law reform remained highly contested and was by no means inevitable. And yet today same-sex couples can have their relationships legally recognised in Tasmania, including the right to a public ceremony creating their union.
..."Sometimes marriage equality can seem like an impossible dream. Sometimes the anger of marriage equality’s opponents and the indifference of decision-makers can seem all-too-great. But when I feel like change to our marriage laws may never come, I recall the moment in December 2008, twenty years after the arrests at Salamanca Market, when the Lord Mayor of Hobart on behalf of the City’s Council publicly apologized for those arrests and committed the City to a future without prejudice. If a little place at the end of the world, dismissed by the rest of the world as “Bigot’s Island”, can re-invent itself as a global leader on gay rights then anything is possible. Compared to that transformation, the recognition of the freedom to marry in Australian law shouldn’t be hard at all."
Click to read the full post: [Link]