Monash Council declared its support to its residents to advocate marriage equality in March. Rebecca Paterson, Monash’s Mayor, said ‘ this is a symbolic gesture to support monash’s residents and staff who are advocating for marriage equality. We want people who live and work in Monash to know that we believe in their right to do so free of prejudice and discrimination.’
Monash Council launched numbers of programs and services to show its supports to Monash’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex community. Monash Youth and Family Services (MYFS) has re-established the Pride and Diversity Program in supporting young people aged 14-18 who identify as same sex attracted and gender diverse over the last 12 months.
Also Monash Home and Community Services (HACC) and the Q-East Alliance provide supports to ensure people are treated with respect at home and workplace.
Same-sex marriage is legal in 29 countries in the world. However, Australia is yet to implement any change to The Australian Marriage Act 1961 which would allow for marriage equality.
Gary D Bouma AM, the UNESCO Chair in Intercultural and Interreligious Relations Asia Pacific and professor of sociology at Monash University, mentions there are also all kinds of actions group now seeking marriage equality.
The majority of australia and christian want same-sex marriage and a new group called ‘equal voice’, which is christian wanting to make apology to LGBTIQ and people about the way people have treated them in the past.
However, Bouma has doubts about the future of marriage equality. He states that the biggest challenge for it in Australia is the government. ‘People think they own the definition of marriage but actually they do not. The Prime minister is in favor of it, but he cannot do anything, his party will not let him pass because of the government has some hyper conservative members.’
John Balmer, a gay 30 years old man, said ‘The younger generations do not have problem with gay marriage, it is becoming more and more open, the conservative politicians are causing the delay of gay marriage.’ He believes in 10 or 15 years, gay marriage does not matter so much and it will happen in australia.
‘Same-sex marriage is acceptable in the society but i think some business do not recognize it so some further changes need to be happened to the society, at business and institutional level as well.’ John adds.
Mayor Paterson said although the majority of Australians support marriage equality, some sections of the community for religious and other reasons only support marriage between a man and woman. She thinks it is important that they continue to respect both sides of the argument and work respectfully towards a resolution.