Should Australia allow same-sex marriages?

September 8, 2010

Dr Albie Sachs

At a time when both major Australian political parties have rejected calls for same-sex marriages, a retired South African judge will present a free public lecture at Murdoch University – Equality for all and same-sex marriages: A lesson from South Africa?

Dr Albie Sachs, who has dedicated his career to the defence of human rights and highlighted the persecution of gays and lesbians, will present this year’s Michael D Kirby Annual Human Rights Lecture on September 22.

Dr Sachs authored a judgement in 2005 which led to the Constitutional Court of South Africa unanimously deciding that on the basis of equality without discrimination, there was a right to same-sex marriages.

South Africa has now become the fifth country to allow same-sex marriages after Belgium, Canada, Spain and the Netherlands.

On the same day as the lecture, Dr Sachs will launch his most recent book, The Strange Alchemy of Life and Law, which recently won the Alan Paton Award. The launch will take place at 6.30pm in the foyer of the Law Building at Murdoch University.

Michael D Kirby Annual Human Rights Lecture:
Wednesday September 22, 2010
ECL 4 Lecture Theatre, Murdoch University
South Street, Murdoch

Background on the Michael D Kirby Annual Human Rights Forum

The Michael D Kirby Annual Human Rights Forum seeks to promote a greater awareness of the continuing evolution and current state of human rights in Australia and globally by addressing some of their most controversial and misunderstood aspects.

Each year a prominent international figure is invited to present thought-provoking perspectives on human rights, followed by a question and answer session with Murdoch University staff, students and others.

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Comments (6 responses)

Mike September 13, 2010

As a lifelong Coalition voter, something I cherish are freedoms for the individual.

I'll be offside with the left-wing because I disagree with compulsory student unionism and being forced into mandatory bargaining in the workplace, but the banning of same sex marriage is, to me, completely counter to the Australian Liberal Party ideals of personal freedoms.

I'll be honest and say I don't lie awake at night worrying about homosexuals and their right to marry; however, who is anyone to tell anyone what they can and can't do unless that action is somehow infringing on the rights of others?

As much as I think Abbott was the lesser of two evils at this last election (I felt the rest of the party would keep him in line and I strongly disagree with most ALP policy), he's seen the Liberal leadership drift a little too far toward the US style conservatism – something I've been long and proudly proclaiming to be largely absent from Australian politics.

All through this campaign I hoped The Coalition would come out and claim the "progressive" high ground from the ALP on this issue. Labor has won the "progressive" vote for years by paying lip service to these issues while maintaining actual policy pretty much identical to that of the Coalition. I believe the vast majority of Coalition voters in Australia couldn't care less of gay people were allowed to marry and the ones that do care are hardly going to vote for Labor anyway. A missed opportunity there as far as I'm concerned.

Sam September 14, 2010

That's an argument of: preserving old human ideologies with out taking in to account the rapid change of todays contemporary society, will it work? No.

Democracy at work September 16, 2010

Something that was a crime while ago is now acceptable. What will we see next? there will be a law that says everyone should become homosexual.

Jade September 17, 2010

'Democracy at work' in Australia it has only ever been 'illegal' to be Gay not Lesbian. 30 Years ago Aboriginals were 'classified' as Flora and Fauna, that has changed but a law was not created that 'all Australians should become Aboriginal'. Same-sex 'marriage/civil union' is just the evolution of inclusion and equinimuity for all citizens.

Robert September 17, 2010

Just a question!
"Imagine no religion"… would there still be such a controversy over same sex marriage? If no, is it wise that our choices are based from concepts of faith?
(if you say "faith" then you are conceding that it can't be taken on its own merits.)

Lise September 19, 2010

Marriage goes furthur back than any religion – it is both a practical & natural contract between a man & a woman for the purpose of creating a loving & stable environment to start a new family.

Of course gay people love each other very passionately, and that's lovely. But it is different to a unique combination of a mother & father making children – yes- shock horror – the old "fashioned way". Pure & simple.

So that's what marriage is.

Perhaps we should create another institution for gays/lesbians which expresses their love in a formal way. Different dosen't mean "lesser".

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