For many countries, actually passing gay marriage usually comes after a massive, uphill battle. Australia is no exception, though the country's government is prolonging the pain.
It decided to go ahead with a postal vote on gay marriage, after an attempt to open the vote in a traditional plebiscite was defeated in the Senate this week. A postal vote is ultimately a non-binding survey of the Australian people; citizens simply mark their vote on the ballot and mail it in to be counted. The results are expected to be revealed November 15, 2017.
LGBT groups fear that the public debate that will now follow will be painful for queer individuals to hear.
“Have a read of some of the things which are said about us and our families and then come back here and tell us this is a unifying moment,” said Labor Senator Penny Wong “The Australian Christian Lobby described our children as ‘the stolen generation.'
“We love our children, and I object -- as does every person who cares about children and as do all those same-sex couples in this country who have kids -- to being told that our children are a ‘stolen generation.’”
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull disagreed, claiming that Australians would certainly be respectful and thoughtful in the debate. He also said he would vote "Yes" for same-sex marriage.
Former Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, however cast doubts on such "respect" when he called on people to vote against marriage equality. He said a "No" vote was the only way to protect free speech, religious freedom and “stop political correctness in its tracks."
Come on Australia, vote "Yes" because it's the right thing to do and it'll make Abbott cry!