Germany, Australia, Mexico and Italy Inch Closer to Marriage Equality
After a historic year in marriage equality worldwide, 2016 is poised to continue the tide-turning. This month, four countries took steps toward expanding marriage rights. In Germany, a poll of citizens showed overwhelming support for marriage equality; in Australia, the prime minister vowed to use a little-known legislative measure to legalize gay marriage; yet another Mexican jurisdiction legalized gay marriage while Italian senators debate a bill that would allow same-sex unions.
Conservative German Government Out of Step With Pro-Marriage Equality Voters
A recent poll of German voters found that just about everyone is in favor of marriage equality for same-sex couples, according to The Local, a daily news website. Sixty-eight percent of those polls favored, while 24 percent were opposed.
Even among conservative and religious voters, support was unexpectedly high, the site reported. Sixty-one percent of Union party voters—the conservative party of current German Chancellor Angela Merkel—were in favor while 68 percent of Catholics and 67 percent of Protestants were also in favor.
Australian Prime Minister Promises a Vote on Marriage Equality
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told a local radio station that he would use a legislative tool called a plebiscite to allow citizens to vote on marriage equality, according to ABC News. Turnbull represents Australia’s center-left Labor Party, which supports gay marriage, the website noted. He is up for re-election.
“If the majority of people voting in the plebiscite vote in favor of it, then same-sex marriage will be legalized,” Turnbull said on radio.
Not all lawmakers are convinced, though, ABC News reports. The center-right opposition party has vowed to vote down any measure of support for marriage equality, while opponents of the plebiscite said it’s an expensive and essentially ineffectual measure since Parliament would still need to make the ultimate decision.
Four Jurisdictions in Mexico Now Sanction Same-Sex Marriage
Jalisco, a major Mexican state that’s home to the popular tourist destination Guadalajara, recognized full marriage equality after the nation’s Supreme Court ruled against defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman, the Associate Press reported.
This makes the state the fourth in Mexico where LGBTQ couples may marry. The other jurisdictions are Coahuila, Quintana Roo and Mexico City. Mexico is made up of 31 states.
LGBTQ Activists Rally in Italy Ahead of Same-Sex Union Vote
Taking a page from the American marriage equality playbook, activists are rallying across Italy and on social media ahead of a vote that could legalize same-sex unions, Slate.com reports. It would be the first step toward full marriage equality for the nation, which is one of the last in Western Europe without such laws on the books.
Uniting under the hashtag #wakeupitaly and using “the right to love” as a rallying cry, Italian citizens are mobilizing for more rights for same-sex couples.
Slate reports that the staunchly Catholic nation is feeling the pinch after Ireland—another Catholic country—successfully passed marriage equality in 2015. The article notes that the sentiment around LGBTQ people is changing there, with more repercussions for casual homophobia and support from straight celebrity allies.
Marriage Equality Wins Worldwide
Fourteen nations in Europe recognize full marriage equality for all couples, including Italy and Germany’s neighbor, France, according to Pew Research Center’s “Gay Marriage Around the World.” Twenty-two nations outside of Europe now recognize full marriage equality, including the United States, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa.
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