The road to marriage equality


Same-sex marriage was legalised in Australia last year, following a nation-wide Marriage Law Postal Survey. However, the road to marriage equality and to changes in state and federal laws affecting same-sex couples, started prior to federation in 1901.

Whilst there have been many milestones along the road, the social, political and personal reverberations of the Marriage Law Postal Survey will continue into the future.  These reverberations will be explored by an expert panel on Monday 10 December 2018 at a Lightning Talk, being hosted at the Gold Coast by Griffith Review and Griffith Library (we suggest you register to attend!).

The evolution in social, political and personal attitudes and approaches towards same-sex couples is also illustrated in academic research.

The below snapshot of open access research, held in Griffith Research Online, reflects both this evolution, as well as personal experience in relation to religious freedom and same-sex relationships:

Coding desire: The emergence of a homosexualaubculture in Queensland, 1890-1914 (2007)

  • Several homosexuality-related cases brought to Queensland courts between 1899 and 1914, are analysed to explore the emergence of a homosexual subculture due to interaction of homosexual men from the fluid rural and urban spheres. The behavioral codes and patterns used by such men to attract other similar men also contributed to the emergence of the subculture.

The socio-political evolution of lesbian reality in Queensland into the 21st century (2010)

  • A photo documentary project collecting and publishing the stories of lesbian-identified-women who experienced living in Queensland in the pre-feminist era through to present day, and how they perceive the era to have defined their reality in the 21st century.

Money up front and no kissing (2014)

  • In the last three decades, gays have become increasingly mainstream. Gay representations are now commonplace in the popular media. Money Up Front and No Kissing asks how an interpretation of this legitimacy might be enhanced by creative practice. The study begins with Dennis Altman, Australian queer culture theorist’s 1982 observation of a ‘new homosexual’ emerging in the decade after the birth of the gay rights movement.

The formal recognition of sex identity (2014)

  • Until March 2014, it was widely assumed that a person’s sex could only be recorded in the Australian state and territory Registers of Births, Deaths and Marriages as either female or male. This assumption is no longer accurate, following two significant developments.

The ebb and flow of homophobia: A gender taboo theory (2014)

  • A key challenge for gender theory and practice is to explain the circumstances in which homophobia either intensifies or declines. In addition to the important theoretical implications of such an explanation, being able to clearly delineate the mechanisms that drive the ebb and flow of homophobia, raises the prospect that one day it might be possible to eradicate this important antisocial problem.

When Christianity and homosexuality collide: Understanding the potential intrapersonal conflict (2012)

  • Reconciling sexual orientation with religious and spiritual beliefs can be challenging for Christian homosexuals, since many Christian churches teach that homosexual behavior is sinful. This article seeks to explore the potential conflict between Christianity and homosexuality faced by the respondents of a quantitative study of Christian homosexuals (male and female). Participants’ life stories and experiences varied widely.

A better understanding of the potential conflict between Christianity and homosexuality (2011)

  • Most organised religions, including Christianity, still regard homosexuality as being against their teachings, as sinful and contrary to scripture. Thus, the matter of reconciling sexual orientation with religious and spiritual beliefs can be a very challenging and complicated process for those homosexual persons who uphold Christianity as their religion. This paper seeks to explore the potential conflict between Christianity and homosexuality faced by the respondents.