Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Marriage Equality or Civil Unions?

Malcolm Turnbull gave an impassioned speech at Southern Cross University on the 6th July, ostensibly in support of marriage equality. However, when it came to the crunch Turnbull shied away from standing up for his beliefs and those of a significant proportion of the Australian population, instead calling on marriage equality advocates to compromise and accept Civil Unions in lieu of Marriage.

Delivering the Keynote Address at the 6th Annual Michael Kirby Lecture & Dinner, Turnbull spoke about the journey he's been on as he considers the question of marriage equality for same-sex couples. He said, "As I have reflected on this question of 'marriage equality' I have found the arguments against gay marriage less and less convincing."

Turnbull is to be commended for reflecting on this issue and being open to the journey; however, as a politician it's his moral obligation to do so. As a representative of the people, his job is to represent the views of his constituents.

Turnbull is also to be commended for having the courage to speak publicly about his journey, sharing the fruits of his reflections with all of us. In doing so, he has come in for both praise and criticism from the media and members of the public. Rodney Croome, honorary lecturer in Sociology at the University of Tasmania and campaign coordinator for Australian Marriage Equality, applauds the case that Turnbull makes for marriage equality but considers Turnbull's conclusion to be 'appalling'.

Read an edited extract from Turnbull's speech here.

Read Rodney Croome's response here.

In reading these differing views you also can be a part of the journey.

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