New survey on Irish experiences before and after the marriage equality referendum could help Australia make the case for government-introduced same-sex marriage legislation
A new survey on the effects that last year’s marriage referendum had on LGBT (and their close friends and family) is being produced in conjunction with PFLAG, NXF, The University of Queensland and Victoria University.
The project will document and explore the experiences of LGBT people and their families during the ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ campaigns in the run up to last year’s marriage equality referendum as well as after the outcome.
An Irish correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald has written about the effects that holding a referendum had on Irish LGBT people.
“Last year, Ireland held a referendum on marriage equality,” wrote Jensen Byrne. “I was one of the 62 per cent who voted ‘Yes’. However, our victory was hard-fought and painful to those on both sides of the debate. And though we ‘won’, I adamantly believe that holding a referendum on issues like this represents bad practice and weak leadership. It is also incredibly irresponsible, divisive and wasteful.”
Byrne is referring to the estimated AU$175 million that a plebiscite on same-sex marriage would likely cost the Australian government.
There is no constitutional impediment to the Australian government introducing same-sex marriage into legislation, so it is legally are not required to hold a plebiscite, nor is a plebiscite binding. The last time a plebiscite was held in Australia, the government took seven years to introduce legislation.
The survey can be taken here and usually takes between 10 and 20 minutes to complete. Below is the introduction to the survey that explains what it is about and who can do it:
“This survey is being conducted by Dr Sharon Dane, Dr Grainne Healy, and Dr Liz Short, in collaboration with GCN’s publishers, the National LGBT Federation and PFLAG Australia, with support from BeLonG To and Rainbow Families Victoria.”
“This survey is about adult LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex) people and their families’ experiences during the Yes and No campaigns in the lead-up to the referendum for marriage equality in Ireland, and of the outcome. You will first be asked a few questions to make sure you are eligible to participate.”
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