Friday, May 29, 2015

Shifting the debate

Australia has long been an outlier on marriage equality, steadfastly refusing to follow the rest of the civlised world in recognising it. While Western Europe has recognised the need for equality, and the US is falling state by state, Australia is steadfast, standing there with its fingers in its ears, refusing to acknowledge the modern world and end bigotry, because that's the sort of thing kiwis do or something.

And then the Irish voted. And suddenly the debate is no longer about whether there should or shouldn't be marriage equality, but about who gets the political credit for it. The ALP put up a bill, the Liberals responded by demanding that one of their own front it so it would be "above politics", and now it looks like there'll be a bill and a conscience vote by the end of the year. And all because no-one wants to be left behind by the Irish.

So, thank you Ireland - your vote hasn't just brought marriage equality to Ireland, but shifted the political landscape and made it possible elsewhere as well.