by ALISON LEVIER Section Editor
Members of Parliament in Australia voted against a bill on September 19 that would legalize gay marriage throughout the country.
Although most polls show that many Australians are for gay marriage, the final verdict on the bill was a vote of 98 to 42, something gay rights activists called “a slap on the face.”
“I honestly hate that gay marriage is such a debated topic. In my opinion, when two people love each other they should be able to get married. It really stinks that Australia was in a position to legalize this and didn’t take advantage of the opportunity,” said sophomore Kirsten Pasewaldt.
This decision was made after an ongoing debate on the matter of gay marriage. The parliament does not permit gay marriage, but some states have allowed civil unions.
Sophomore Elisabeth Marchese said, “In my opinion, gays should have a right to marry whoever they want to. I can understand why they’d be frustrated with all these restrictions and laws, but I can also understand why other people are against it. Then again, it’s not those peoples’ lives, so they shouldn’t be allowed to say who gays get to marry. Gay marriage is an extremely controversial topic.”
Although an overwhelming amount of Australians are pro-gay marriage, the Prime Minister Julia Gillard is strongly opposed to the matter. Australian law recognizes marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
Sophomore Anne Ballman says, “I don’t understand why people act like gay marriage is such a problem. If you’re against it, simply do not marry someone of the same gender. The marriage arrangements of two people that are in love shouldn’t be based solely on the views of certain straight people.”
Gillard allowed Parliament to vote for or against the bill based on personal beliefs, thereby letting them vote however they pleased without the threat of being expelled for crossing party lines.