Same-sex marriage is an issue which is closely linked with transgender civil rights, as somewhere from 33-70% of transgender persons identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual. Just in the past week there have been two significant defeats for same-sex marriage in the world, which I thought I would report on.
First, in India their Supreme Court has upheld a colonial-era law which criminalizes homosexuality by a 10-year prison term. The Court essentially said there was no constitutional protection for homosexuality, and that lawmakers were the ones to decriminalize it. This brings up an interesting question, in that given the hijra of India often identify as “third gender”, I wonder if a lower court will find that a hijra (who is typically an XY male) can marry either a man or a woman.
Second, in Australia we have their Supreme Court going out of its way to overturn a same-sex marriage law passed in the Australian Capital Territory. Basically, this case is a “states rights versus national rights” issue, and the Court decided here that there was no over-riding civil rights protection for same-sex marriage, and therefore the federal law banning same-sex marriage takes precedence.
Finally, in more positive news, Ireland appears to be headed for a vote on same-sex marriage in 2015. It’s going to be a close vote by most news reports I’ve read, with the conservative religious rural areas strongly against. The media campaigns have started, and this is a sweet video spot which is running in Ireland now.