With same sex marriage placed firmly on the news agenda, we’ve witnessed a media storm in the past week. It began with the majority of Federal lower house MPs backing Greens MP Adam Bandt’s motion to seek the views of their constituents on same-sex marriage and culminated in a Herald/Nielson poll which saw the majority of Australians back legalisation in support of same-sex marriage.

A poll of 1400 voters found 57 percent of those surveyed support same-sex marriage legislation.
Bandt’s motion has split the Labor Party and prompted PM Gillard to fast track the party’s national conference by six months to December 2011, so it can debate the issue.

In the last week we were also offered a glimpse of what conservative media are likely to run in the race towards a conscience vote.

Miranda Devine’s ‘opinion piece’ neatly surmised same-sex marriage as little more than just another lifestyle choice.

She argued marriage deserved to be preserved as a bedrock institution of our Judeo-Christian society. Here, according to the book of Devine, a child could grow up free of abuse.

As a solicitor who works in a Community Legal Centre and witnesses the ‘bedrock of marriage’ played out every day first hand I am acutely aware that having a having a marriage certificate does not make you a good parent.

The Australian offered more measured coverage of the same-sex marriage debate, featuring interviews with blue-collar pubs in Queensland – the state most clearly opposed to the reforms.

Mr McGill, a 49-year-old diesel fitter said, “It’s a free country – or it’s meant to be – and if you can’t live your life the way you like, what have you got left? Even Wayne “Magic” Leonard, who owns a motorbike business in the north Queensland tourist town, couldn’t understand what the fuss was about. “I think people should live and let live.”

Undoubtedly, media coverage around this issue will intensify in the coming months as the same sex marriage debate gathers momentum.

info: The GLRL encourages you to show your support for full marriage equality by attending the same-sex marriage rally this Saturday 27 November at 1pm at Sydney Town Hall.

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