In 2001, the Netherlands was the first country to legalize same-sex marriage. Canada quickly followed suit in 2005, two years after British Columbia had opened marriage licences to all kinds of love. Twelve years later, the southern country of Australia is one of the last large, developed countries to make the leap and vote for marriage equality.
Why, you may ask, does this matter to you? 10% of Canadians aged 18-34 say they are part of the LGBTQ+ community. 10% of all Canadian same-sex couples live in Vancouver or its surrounding districts, despite Metro-Vancouver making up only 7% of our country’s population. This means that here in Burnaby, you have a higher chance of being in or knowing someone in a LGBTQ+ relationship, and as a high school student, more people you know are openly gay than people in your parents’ generation.
With the Australian government pledging to officially legalize same-sex marriage by Christmas, many people in our school community can visit another country where they are free to love whomever they want, equally. Of course the 61% yes vote does not mean the members of the LGBTQ+ community will never be discriminated against in Australia, but it does shed light on changing global attitudes towards our friends and neighbours.
SAGA, Central’s “gay-straight alliance”,
Australia may have been late to the game, but is it ever too late to join the growing number of countries accepting love?