Over the past few centuries in Australia gay and lesbian people have faced many challenges such as criminalisation and discrimination. Since 1948 when Australia signed the Declaration of Human Rights, social changes have allowed gay and lesbian rights to increase in contrast to previous generations. Power structures in society have excluded rights from same sex couples such as marriage, adoption and IVF rights that heterosexual couples possess.
Until recent years, being gay or lesbian was socially unacceptable therefore relationships or fraternisation wasn’t publicly displayed. In fact, the first recorded act of “Homosexuality” in Australia was in 1727 as two men were ‘Caught in "The abominable and god-forsaken deeds of Sodom and Gomorrah" and sentenced to death’ (Magazine, 2014). From this first recorded act during colonisation, British law has been enforced in Australia when it was colonized, discriminating any act of homosexuality. Christian religion is major influence on law developed from the British. As the Bible articulates “The sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine” (OpenBible.info, 2001). This has been the prominent influence in relation to the Commonwealth laws and beliefs which carried on to Australia.
Same sex couples and marriage has always been frowned upon in Australia, to the extent in 1961 when the Marriage Act came in place to define marriage as ‘The union of a man and a woman’ (Commission, 2012). Laws enforcing imprisonment for homosexual activity between males were in place until the mid-seventies in all states except Queensland, decriminalis...
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...because you’re the Prime Minister, which by the way does not give you all the power’ (Stevens, 2014). The Prime Minister replied ‘My personal opinion is to support the existing definition of marriage’ (Stevens, 2014). Whist Abbot is in power, Australia’s change to legalise same-sex marriage has been placed on hold due it appears to his personal viewpoint arguably influenced by religion.
Whilst there have been many changes made to gay and lesbians rights within Australia’s history, there is the same-sex marriage law to change to allow the country to move forward. Influences such as Christian religion that influence Australia’s laws and Prime Ministers to allow the change of law. Changes in laws including adoption, IVF and surrogacy need to be made to allow full equality between heterosexual and homosexual couples and contribute to a better and more accepting world.
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