Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will introduce legislation to hold a national vote on same-sex marriage after the plebiscite was approved by the Cabinet [official websites] on Tuesday. The national vote would gauge voters’ thoughts on the issue but would not actually legalize same-sex marriage as the parliament would still have to decide [SkyNews report] the issue. Under the prime minister’s proposal, voters will be asked to respond on February 11 to the question [Australian report]: “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?” The move is creating opposition [press release] by same sex-marriage advocates who believe the non-binding measure is delaying the granting of rights to same-sex couples. The vote is estimated to cost at least 7.5 million dollars.
The rights of same-sex couples are still being debated throughout the globe. Tens of thousands of people marched [JURIST report] in Mexico in protest of same-sex marriage Saturday, a controversial topic in the country exacerbated by a proposal from embattled President Enrique Peña Nieto to recognize same-sex marriage. The Aruban legislature on Friday voted [JURIST report] to give official recognition to same-sex couples, giving them the right to register their unions and receive the benefits granted to other married people. The New York Court of Appeals ruled [ JURIST report ] in August that the definition of “parent” under a section of the state’s Domestic Relations Law should be expanded, in a decision that will serve to better accommodate same-sex couples. Also last month the Belize Supreme Court struck down [JURIST report] a law banning sodomy, declaring it unconstitutional. Section 53 of the Belize Criminal Code banned “carnal intercourse against the order of nature.”