26 June 2015 will be marked in future history books as the moment same-sex marriage was declared legal across the United States. It was an historic triumph for the American gay rights movement when the Supreme Court made its ruling granting marriage rights to all citizens of the United States.
Justice Anthony Kennedy, for the majority, held as follows:
No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women and say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfilment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right…
The ruling has sparked discussion and debate across Australia with many Australians coming together to rally the Federal Government to follow in the footsteps of the United States. Many readers would also have noticed their Facebook pages light up recently with the colours of the rainbow as over 26 million Facebook users were showing their support for gay marriage by changing their profile pictures to include an overlay in the colours of the rainbow. This overwhelming support is an indication that many people in Australia and around the world support marriage equality.
Pressure is now being placed on the Australia Government to make the change and allow marriage equality. This pressure is also coming from within the legal community in Victoria. The President of the Law Institute of Victoria, Katie Miller, agrees that Australia is lagging behind other countries on marriage equality and said recently “It is about time the law caught up and removed the last legal barrier to recognition of marriage equality … [w]e call on the Federal Parliament to urgently support an amendment to the definition of ‘marriage’ under the Marriage Act to provide for marriage between two persons”. Nicholes Family Lawyers supports the call for marriage equality.