And while it's faintly horrifying that the Federal government wants to kind of pretend it's not happening - gay people in Australia can finally, happily, have their legally binding civil ceremonies. I do actually kind of understand as the Feds went in on a strongly Christian, no gay marriage platform so the fact they are allowing civil ceremonies is a big change in announced policy.
For those interested in the arcana, the ACT (a Territory, not a State) had laws allowing a legally binding civil ceremony for gay couples. It's not marriage but it's as close as Australia will get for a little while. Because the ACT is a Territory, the Commonwealth can overturn their laws (they can't overturn State laws). The last time the ACT made these laws, the Liberal Federal Government overturned them. They made them again recently and everyone was certain that the Labor Federal Government would overturn them (see above re: policy position).
Today, in a joint announcement, the two governments confirmed that the ACT laws would be allowed to stand. So finally, in this actually quite civilised and progressive country in which I live, my wonderful gay friends can have a ceremony in which they can confirm that they wish to make a legal commitment to each other. About damn time! Next - let's get over this thing and just let people who love each other and are that brave just damn well get married. Because if you're not doing it in church, then marriage is not a religious matter (it's a civil recognition by the state of a person's choice about their assignment of property and inheritance rights, if you REALLY get down to it) and I don't give a good god-damn what any religion thinks about a civil matter.
In other news, whatever the Liberal party are doing to themselves about the ETS is spectacular and spectacularly misinformed. The mad uncles have taken over and hoping the rest of us are just as mad as the shouty ones. The polls, of course, show that we aren't.
Politics is so much fun today.