Australia: Hope and Frustration in Australia as Gay Marriage Debate Nears

 Unlike the United States, Canada and New ZealandAustralia stands out as a developed, English-speaking country that has not legalized same-sex marriage.

But a new survey shows Australian attitudes on the issue are rapidly changing, suggesting it is Parliament that is falling behind international peers in recognizing gay marriage.

From 2005 to 2015, there was a shift toward the view that gay couples should have the same marriage, parenting and employment rights as heterosexual couples, according to the University of Melbourne’s annual survey of household, income and labor dynamics in Australia.

The proportion of women supporting such rights for gay couples rose to 67 percent in 2015 from 43 percent in 2005. Among men, the proportion who agreed rose to 59 percent from 32 percent.

Meanwhile, divisions over gay marriage are widening within the conservative Australian government. Dean Smith, an openly gay senator from the governing Liberal Party, has drafted a bill to legalize same-sex marriage, which could be put before Parliament this month.

We spent a day around Sydney’s Oxford Street, a historically gay area where the annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is held, to speak to people in the city’s L.G.B.T. community and find out how they feel about the prospect of Australia’s marriage laws being changed. Read more via New York Times