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Digital Subscriptions > Gay Times > November 17 > LOVE WILL TEAR OZ APART


Why isn’t same-sex marriage legal in Australia yet? While things have certainly gotten better for LGBT+ Australians in recent years, marriage equality is a basic civil right that they’ve always been denied. The country is currently amidst a public vote to gauge opinion on whether or not the law should be changed, but it’s a public vote that’s tearing the country apart, with toxic masculinity and a divisive campaign giving license to lies, hatred and violence towards the LGBT+ community. With the result of the vote merely weeks away, we speak to campaigners on the ground and find out why this plebiscite is about so much more to queer Australians than just getting hitched.

“I spent most of my life feeling terrified of being gay and living in the closet,” says Ivan Hinton-Teoh, a 42 year-old gay man from Canberra, Australia. After coming out to his parents in his late 20s, Ivan set out to improve the lives of queer Australians, founding LGBT+ rights organisation just.equal in 2016.

“This debate has given license to homophobic abuse and phsyical violence. It was never about marriage equality. It’s about whether they accept LGBT+ people in general.”

In recent years Australia has made great progress in removing anti-LGBT+ discrimination from state and federal law. Though in terms of equal marriage, it still lags behind countries like Canada, America and New Zealand. The lack of government action on the issue, despite public support for same-sex unions, has long been a cause of frustration for LGBT+ Australians. In 2013, the High Court of Australia ruled that the government alone could change the country’s existing marriage laws. Yet Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said in June this year that he would not support a parliamentary vote until the Australian people have had their say.

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About Gay Times

Call Me By Your Name is on everybody’s lips and we’re excited to deliver a world exclusive, and comprehensive, interview with the cast in the latest issue. Ahead of his critically-acclaimed Un-Royal Variety Show at the Hackney Empire, we deconstruct drag, gender and political correctness with the man who’s literally seen and done it all: Johnny Woo. In our Girls’ Club feature, acclaimed photographer Laura Lewis takes us into the heart of Tokyo’s gay district for an intimate look at one of the city’s safe spaces for its trans community. With a same-sex marriage vote tearing Australia apart, we speak to campaigners to find out why this plebiscite is about much more than getting hitched. MNEK invites us into his hit-making studio where we discuss the intersectionality of race and sexuality, self-care and the journey we go on as queer people to find out who we really are. Elsewhere in the issue, we jump into bed with Sean Teale, star of the horror-comedy Mr B&B; we dive into the troubled waters of Eliza Hittman’s Beach Rats; Sir Derek Jacobi on awards, marriage and the secrets to a happy life; Graham Patrick Martin on surviving James Franco; Kathy Griffin; Judith Light; Marc Almond; Tori Amos; plus, style, travel, opinion and much more!