New York same-sex marriage law gives Aussie advocates hope

June 25th, 2011 - 11:57 am ICT by BNO News  

SYDNEY (BNO NEWS) — A historic vote in the New York Senate on Friday evening that legalized same-sex marriage in the third-most populous U.S. state has given hope for gay-rights advocates in Australia.

The bill which passed in New York on Friday will legalize same-sex marriage in the state as of Sunday, July 24. New York will be the sixth state, plus Washington, D.C., to perform same-sex marriages.

“Public support for same-sex marriage is at the same level in New York state as it is in Australia, giving Australian advocates renewed hope reform will occur here sooner rather than later,” said Australian Marriage Equality National Convener Alex Greenwich. “The fact New York legislators rejected half measures like civil unions as a substitute for marriage equality sends a clear message to Australian legislators to do the same.”

Greenwich said he hopes the victory in New York state will lead to the Australian Labor Party (ALP) to join what he called the ‘global push’ for marriage equality. “There will be gay Australians who marry in New York, only to have their legal status stripped away from them the moment they return home,” he said. “We hope the our Government will one-day soon respect the solemn vows these partners will take.”

In Australia, only the state of Tasmania recognizes overseas same-sex marriages and only as civil partnerships. “The eyes of the world are now set on Australia,” said Advocacy Director of Human Rights Watch Boris Dittrich. “I hope Australia will be next in ending discrimination of same sex couples in terms of marriage legislation.”

In addition to parts of the United States, same-sex marriages are currently being performed in the Netherlands, Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Iceland, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, and Sweden. In Mexico, same-sex marriage is only performed in Mexico City.

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