THE past few weeks have been tumultuous for marriage equality around the world, with some great steps forward in China, but massive setbacks in other parts of the world.
This week in the southern US state of Alabama, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Roy Moore ordered state judges to stop issuing marriage licences to same-sex couples.
[showads ad=MREC] His order came despite the US Supreme Court’s landmark decision last year that would allow same-sex marriage in all 50 states.
Moore wrote: “Until further decision by the Alabama Supreme Court, the existing orders of the Alabama Supreme Court that Alabama probate judges have a ministerial duty not to issue any marriage license contrary to the Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment or the Alabama Marriage Protection Act remain in full force and effect.”
— Steven L Reed (@stevenlouisreed) January 6, 2016
The news out of Europe was also not good with the results of a public referendum in Slovenia coming out against same sex marriage just a few days before Christmas.
A little more than 63 per cent of voters in last month’s referendum rejected a proposed bill redefining marriage as a union between two consenting adults, rather than expressly between a man and a woman.
Despite a low voter turn out of only 36 per cent of Slovenia’s population, the results were seen as a win for the country’s Catholic church who campaigned strongly against marriage equality.
At around the same time as Slovenia’s referendum, Greece took a step forward when its parliament approved a bill granting same-sex couples the right to a civil union and legal recognition after years of opposition from its influential Orthodox church.
Closer to home, Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama has said Fiji does not need same sex marriage and that it was “rubbish”.
The PM was speaking in response to a TV broadcast that called for same-sex marriage and said if two women wanted to get married, they should move to Iceland.
However, China could become the first in Asia to legislate marriage equality following a landmark court ruling to allow the court to hear a case of two men who wish to marry.
In December last year, 26-year-old Sun Wenlin filed a complaint against the Changsha Furong District Civil Affairs Bureau in the Hunan province after it wouldn’t allow him to register for a marriage licence.
Wenlin told Reuters he was confident the court would find in his favour.
“Our marriage law says there is the freedom to marry and gender equality. These words can be applied to same-sex marriage,” he said.[showads ad=FOOT]