With a Green now holding a seat in the Cabinet and a Chief Minister in support of same-sex marriage, it is a strong indicator the ACT heading down the path of legalising marriage equality, reports student journalist Sarah Bannerman.

Chief Minister Katy Gallagher openly supports same-sex marriage, at the recognition of equality for all people.

With the recent addition of Green Shane Rattenbury into cabinet, an individual who has openly advocated for marriage equality, it seems likely the ACT Government will go down the path of legalising same-sex marriage in the near future.

What does the ACT want?

Much like the recent election results, with the Liberals and Labor both gaining eight seats each, it seems Canberra’s opinion on same sex marriage is divided by electorate.

Based on election results it seems those in the Brindabella electorate do not support same-sex marriage with just over 50 percent of people supporting a party or parties that oppose same-sex marriage and just under 44 percent supporting a party which supports marriage equality.

However when you analyse the results in Ginninderra you get an entirely different outcome.

51 percent of votes in the Ginninderra electorate supported a party that is pro marriage equality with a significantly lower 41 percent of votes being in support of a party that is against same-sex marriage.

The results for Molonglo were much the same as Ginninderra, with just under 54 percent voting for a party in support of marriage equality and just under 40 percent voting for a party against marriage equality.

While statistics show a slight lead in those who support same-sex marriage it is, however, clear Canberra is a divided region.

Local Perspective

Alyce Kirby, a young Canberra woman who has been with her partner Dani for three years says she is 100 percent supportive of same-sex marriage.

“I am 100% supportive of same-sex marriage – not just for “selfish” reasons like being able to marry the love of my life but also because I believe in this day and age and in this country, no one should still be fighting for something as rudimentary and imperative as civil rights.”

Alyce is planning a future with Dani. Their six-year plan includes marriage, a mortgage, good careers and children.

“I see myself staying with Dani ‘forever’ and within the next six years we would like to start trying for a family, with our only real concern is who has to go through the pain of labour,” Alyce says.

“We would like to have a house of our own and be repaying a mortgage rather than rent and working in careers that interest us and hopefully by then would have married.”

As of yet there have been no moves by the ACT Government to legalise same-sex marriage in the capital, however, with the four year term only just beginning, it is too early to say whether marriage equality in the ACT is a certainty.

“It would be winning a battle in a rather large war. Whilst I could marry Dani in the place we were raised surrounded by those who love and support us, it would still play on my mind that friends of mine in other countries would still not be afforded the same opportunity. However in saying this I believe any progress is good progress and to have Australia recognise this and stand at the forefront would just be phenomenal.”

The past cannot dictate the future says Alyce, “If we were allow history and tradition to dictate our government then we may never have taken a few steps out of the times where we lived in caves, burnt ‘witches’, sold slaves and not forgetting women would still be voiceless objects that could be traded for a few head of sheep”.

 

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