Pride Week is a time for our community to come together to celebrate and reflect.
We do have a lot to celebrate: de facto recognition at a state level in 1999; equalisation of the age of consent for gay men in 2003; full practical equality for same-sex couples across federal laws in 2008; and the recognition of lesbian co-mums as legal parents in 2008.
What we also can celebrate is the increasing number of Australians who believe that their gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve full equality.
The poll showed 60 percent of the Australian public now support same-sex marriage. That’s up by three percent since the last poll.Â A poll commissioned by GetUp in June 2007 found that while 71 percent of Australians supported equal practical rights for same-sex couples, 57 percent were in favour of same-sex marriage.
As we educate the public about the disparities that exist, more and more people will become vocal supporters of equality reforms. This will be critical as we step up our push for civil marriage at a federal level, and for adoption at a state level.
After all, Pride Week is also a good time to take stock of where we are and of the glaring inequalities that remain. Representatives from the GLRL will meet with NSW ministers in early July to emphasise the importance of not delaying on adoption.
And in August, the GLRL will launch our campaign for civil marriage. What will be crucial is to increase the number of Australians who are aware of this inequality.
We need your help in talking to mums, dads, brothers, sisters, friends and colleagues about how Australia is one of only a handful of Western nations to have no formal relationship recognition system.Â Telling others how the marriage ban affects you, will be crucial to the broader public getting vocal on this issue.Â And when the broader public becomes vocal, the Government will have no choice but to listen.
Emily Gray is co-convenor of the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby.