Love Wins! But not for Australia- Part 2

The major problem with the Love Wins Same Sex Marriage Campaign is the way the issue is presented by Australian media. The inequality in the media is clear when contrasted with the American Love Wins campaign of June, 2015. Australian media depicts this campaign as a political concern rather than a human rights concern. Australian press is saturated with coverage on upcoming political legislation, with less focus on the social aspect.

This prominent lack of legislation in Australia has developed inequalities in the media. The topic of an Australian plebiscite on same sex marriage overpowers the overriding issues of injustice and inequality for LGBTQ people. According to Altman (2016), the plebiscite is a bad idea for a number of reasons. It is wasteful, unnecessary and divisive. Michael Kirby, former High Court justice, has pointed out that other social issues have not been voted on in a plebiscite, such as abolishing the White Australia Policy, advancing women’s rights and disability issues. “Why are we now picking out the LGBT, the gay community? It is simply an instance of hate, of dislike, hostility to a small minority in our population, its un-Australian.” (Patel 2016).

The best solution to this media inequality is for the Australian media to emphasise the social concern of LGBTQ injustice. The primary solution is to shift the focus towards the LGBTQ individuals that are involved in the Love Wins Same Sex Marriage Campaign, and away from political debate. This proposed spin could be implemented through the use of more relevant sources, eliminating politicians as a mouth piece for the imperative discussion on LGBTQ human rights. The people involved in Australian legislation have obvious bias and most, a political agenda. This media inequality could also be improved in Australia through a more present focus on the #LoveWins viral campaign. This would promote the social issue and support of the Australian public, and thus outweigh political details that saturate the current mediasphere.

 

References:

Altman, D 2016, ‘Fear and loathing reigns in Safe Schools and same-sex marriage debates’, The Conversation <https://theconversation.com/fear-and-loathing-reigns-in-safe-schools-and-same-sex-marriage-debates-56347>

Henshaw, A 2015, ‘How do individuals shape their views on same-sex rights?’, The Conversation <https://theconversation.com/how-do-individuals-shape-their-views-on-same-sex-rights-42931>

Patel, Uma 2016, ‘Same-sex marriage plebiscite ‘alien to constitutional tradition’, says former high Court justice Michael Kirby, ABC News <http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-22/same-sex-marriage-plebiscite-dangerous-precedent:-michael-kirby/7771940>

Image via: The Conversation

Love Wins! But Not for Australia

This case study focuses on the American Love Wins Campaign of June 2015 and the subsequent effects of this legislative campaign on Australia. The Love Wins or #LoveWins campaign describes the movement of Same Sex marriage becoming legal in The United States of America. The US historically joined the number of countries that allow same-sex marriage on June the 26th, 2015. #LoveWins became a viral hashtag online, and a way for people to share their happiness and support as well as a way to create awareness amongst their own and other countries.

While America has enacted this law for over a year now, Australia still remains undecided towards marriage equality legislation. Prior to the federal election in Australia in July 2016, ‘Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull promised to allow a nationwide vote on marriage equality’ (plebiscite) (HRC 2016).

According to News.com.au, on the 10th of August, 2016, The state of Tasmania and ACT have shown their support towards same sex marriage legislation. The ACT’s Legislative Assembly called for the planned plebiscite on the issue to be axed and the matter to be voted on in Parliament instead. Despite the Australian Capital Territory’s and Tasmania’s votes, marriage equality is no closer and can only be legislated by MPs in Canberra regardless of any future plebiscite (2016).

It is parliament’s responsibility and within parliament’s power to legislate on marriage. The plebiscite will therefore be an unnecessary and costly vote, with potentially damaging consequences for many Australians. It has, nevertheless, been promised. The plebiscite is unnecessary and it may well prove divisive, according to The Conversation (2016).

References:

Brook, B. 2016, Tasmania and ACT back moves for marriage equality. News.com.au, <http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/gay-marriage/tasmania-and-act-back-moves-for-marriage-equality/news-story/d9fed4a90804f24b21ede179ea8398bb>

Fowler, A. 2016, Australian Election Results Raise Questions About Next Steps for Marriage Equality. HRC, <http://www.hrc.org/blog/australian-election-results-raise-questions-about-next-steps-for-marriage-e>

Goss, R. 2016, If Australia is going to have a plebiscite on marriage equality, how should it work?. The Conversation, <http://theconversation.com/if-australia-is-going-to-have-a-plebiscite-on-marriage-equality-how-should-it-work-63098>

Waitt, G. 2015. I Do? On geography, marriage and love in Australia. Australian Geographer, 46(4), pp.429-436.

Image via: Wikipedia