The Australian Senate [official website] on Sunday rejected a proposed plebiscite on same-sex marriage. The bill was defeated 29-33 even though Attorney General George Brandis had warned that “the cause of marriage equality will be delayed for years.” The bill had proposed a public vote next February to gauge voters’ thoughts on the issue of same-sex marriage, but would not actually have legalized same-sex marriage, as the issue was considered a matter of public morality [Advocate report].
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull introduced the legislation [JURIST report] in August as the rights of same-sex couples are being debated throughout the globe. Tens of thousands of people marched [JURIST report] in Mexico in protest of same-sex marriage in September, a controversial topic in the country exacerbated by a proposal from embattled President Enrique Peña Nieto to recognize same-sex marriage. The Aruban legislature voted [JURIST report] in September 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 in August, 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.”