Post 1: Marriage Equality in Australia

Most of all issues that were listed as topics to chose from, I think I am kind of have a general knowledge about it and I have looked in depth in some issues already. However, it seems that I have never been aware to looking into the issue of LGBTIQ at all, even this issue happens everywhere all over the world. Therefore, I decided to research depth into it and see how the world has been over this LGBTIQ. To be specific, I am focus more on to marriage equality and a little bit of gender identity.


One of the articles that I have read on SBS (sbs.com.au) website was about Telstra decided to step back in supporting marriage equality, was written by AAP (Australian Associated Press). AAP is an Australian news agency found it 1935 and owned by three Australian news organisations – News Corp Australia, Fairfax, and Seven West Media. They are very actively post news related to marriage not just on SBS also News Corp Australia (news.com.au), ABC online (abc.net.au) and more. From my point of view, AAP is very reliable source which is based on research and reality. In this article, AAP has undercover the reason that Telstra has turn its direction back to supporting marriage equality laws. It seems AAP was just stating the fact of this issue. Last year in 2015, Telstra was one of the 400 companies who supports same-sex marriage, however they came out and turned its back away from the support due to the criticism of the their own customers and also after receiving a letter from the archdiocese of Sydney business manager Michael Digges that they should not be involved in the subject matters. A few months ago, Telstra has changed their direction and turn back into supporting the same-sex marriage campaign. An Australian Marriage Equality spokeswoman, Janine Middleton stated that many Australian business leaders are joining this support of marriage equality campaign and this creates a very powerful message to “a more open, inclusive and respectful work environment” towards their employees and customers.

In my view towards the author’s position is that AAP is trying to state one side of the fact that they want people to portray the message, however they didn’t state the reason behind those decision.


The second article I read was about gender identity related. It was written by Eliel Cruz who is the Executive Director of Faith In America, a prolific speaker and writer on religion, (bi)sexuality, more. He is also the co-founder and former president of Intercollegiate Adventist Gay-Straight Alliance Coalition. This article is originally published on Quartz and it was edited and distributed to publish on SBS.This article is more like his research that he has found on Apple Siri. His research was about the different between Sex and Gender. He state

“A large portion of people don’t understand gender identity. Sex and gender are two separate things; sex is biological and gender is societal.”

Therefore, it made him question Siri to see what kinds of response he will get from Apple generated Siri. The answers he got were brilliant which explain sex and gender perfectly. What he ask was “What is your gender”. There were quite different answers —

I don’t have a gender.

I was not assigned a gender.

Well, my voice sounds like a woman’s, but I exist beyond your human concept of gender.

Animals and French nouns have genders. I do not.

I don’t think that really matters.

I am still just… Siri.

He also asked “what’s your sexuality” and answer he got is “My name is Siri, and I was designed by Apple in California. That’s all I’m prepared to say.”

From what he found, I think it is really a great idea to contribute messages to all around the world that gender is not matters.


The second article has led me to question if Apple does support same-sex marriage. What I found is very surprising that Apple just joined companies to back same-sex marriage for Australians a few week ago. This article was written by Hannah Francis who is a Technology Reporter For Fairfax Media. She has been working and reported news for more than 2 years. She also was the author of article which is published in 2014 on Facebook ‘real name’ policy on queer community as well. In this article, it is quite an information based. Apple has decided to come out publicly backing the movement to legalise same-sex marriage in Australia alongside with other companies such as, Telstra, Commonwealth Bank, Qantas and more. Apple stated in a statement,

“Apple believes all people should be treated equality. That’s why we think all Australians should be able to marry the person they love.”

It is all making sense that Apple’s Chief executive, Tim cook is also openly gay and a supporter of gay rights and other humanitarian causes. He also tweeted a tweet on twitter on the day that the company publicly support marriage equality on 27th June 2016. Apple is not the only tech company to support the campaign in Australia but also Google, Microsoft, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Hannah also uncovered politic aspects of the issue too by stating the Australian federal government promise to hold a plebiscite on the legalisation of same-sex marriage if re elected and also about Labor and the Greens oppose the plebiscite and arguing for a parliamentary vote.


The other article that I have read was about “Genuine marriage equality is more than overdue in Australia”. It was written by the President of Australian Human Rights Commission, Gillian Triggs. The reason behind this story is to show Australian how heartbreaking and traumatic to see your spouse’s death certificate says “never married” is. In this article, Triggs was written about a same-sex couple, Marco and David, who got married oversea and came to Adelaide, Australia for their honeymoon. Tragically, Marco Bulmer-Rizzi’s husband has died from falling off stairs at a friend’s place. Since Australian doesn’t recognise same-sex marriage from oversea,

David’s death certificate initially recorded him as “not married”.

This incident shows how isolated and outdated Australian marriage laws has become. Triggs also stated a law under the article which says “ All people are equal before the law and entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection of the law”. That should mean including civil marriage as well, without discrimination, to all couples, regardless of sex, sexual orientation or gender identity.

It is such a shame that Australia does not recognise a same-sex marriage certificate from oversea. I do agree on Triggs position that politician in Australia does not really understand the term of non-discrimination.


On the other hand, I read another article on a very contrasting consequence which a same-sex couple, Joe Murphy and Nick Smith, who had to elope in New York to getting marriage without their both side grandmothers rather than in their home country, Australia that does not allow same-sex marriage with another family member. Michael Koziol who is a journalist with Fairfax Media tried to make their stories heard under title “12 years after gay marriage was banned, families reflect on the joys they have missed”. Not just a couple that Koziol has mentioned in this article but few different scenarios. Syndey rugby league legend Steve Mortimer also had to fly to Chicago to see his son got married.

“We’re sons of parents who love of us and would have loved to have been at our wedding” said Gennaro Hellmans and Brett Haythorpe eloped in New Zealand in 2013

Due to the issue of banning gay marriage in Australia, it has become one of the biggest issues. People are trying to get out of their hometown just to get married. What Koziol has portrayed his opinion on this issue is very effective to let people see how serious this issue is. People are finding our own voices and freedom oversea and left Australia just because of the non-recognition of marriage equality.

Calvin


  1. AAP 2016, Telstra feels love for marriage equality, SBS, viewed 07 August 2016, <http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2016/04/18/telstra-feels-love-marriage-equality>
  2. Cruze, E. 2015, Comment: 7 times Siri understood gender identity better than most humans, SBS, viewed 07 August 2016, <http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2015/05/22/comment-7-times-siri-understood-gender-identity-better-most-humans>
  3. Francis, H. 2016, Apple backs Australian marriage equality, The Sydney Morning Herald, viewed 10 August 2016, <http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/apple-backs-australian-marriage-equality-20160725-gqdogo.html>
  4. Triggs, G. 2016, Genuine marriage equality is more than overdue in Australia, The Sydney Morning Herald, viewed 10 August 2016, <http://www.smh.com.au/comment/genuine-marriage-equality–is-more-than-overdue-in-australia-20160128-gmfyes.html>
  5. Koziol, M. 2016, 12 years after gay marriage was banned, families reflect on the joys they have missed, The Sydney Morning Herald, viewed 10 August 2016, <http://www.smh.com.au/national/12-years-after-gay-marriage-was-banned-families-reflect-on-the-joys-they-have-missed-20160811-gqq9fa.html>

 

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