In 2004, with the balance of power in his hands, former Prime Minister John Howard made a small amendment to the Marriage Act 1961, entering a definition of marriage as between ‘a man and a woman.’ Twelve years later, the now Liberal Government of Malcolm Turnbull are unable to undertake even an open vote in the House of Representatives to introduce a Bill to approve Marriage Equality. Whether we agree or disagree with the 2004 amendment, it shows the big difference between the past and present Liberal Governments. One had the guts to do what they thought right, the other is beholden to the far right wing of their party, unable to make any independent move in case they are rolled from their role as Party Leader.
Over the weekend – in Australia – it has been really interesting to see how the SCOTUS decision has been welcomed. Although SCOTUS doesn’t have any impact on Australian legislature and policy decisions, it has been viewed – in conjunction with the recent vote in Ireland – as a kick start to a campaign for Marriage Equality frozen by a succession of policy-scared Governments.