November 02, 2008

I wish I could actually vote on this

Once upon a time in Austria there was a draft for a Registered Partnership Act. The minister of justice, a social democrat, had worked it out with several lobbies from the pro- and anti-gay marriage sides. Granted, the draft didn't include adoption, social security, health care and several other points of importance to Austrian LGBT people and their lobbies. However, after many months of fighting between left and right as well as among the major LGBT lobby groups said justice minister presented the draft for assessment by all stakeholders (a common legislative process in Austria) before the draft would go to the Council of Ministers to be formed into law.

But let's rewind to the assessment phase for a moment where all the political fun took place. Knowing well that adoption was out of the question anyway LGBT lobbies began criticizing the absence of social security rights etc. That was to be expected. One super right wing party bashed the draft in general since they see no need for equal rights - not a surprise either - while the other super right wing party smartly kept their mouth shut, probably because there were too many rumors among journalists and gays that the party leader was a closeted homosexual.

Not surprising though not quite expected were also the remarks that came from the conservative, catholic church-influenced party in coalition with the social democrats. They seemed to have realized earlier that there was no way they could forever oppose gay relationship recognition, but decided they weren't going down without a fight. Not all but some, many, party members began debating that while the queers should totally get some model of recognition no way where they gonna get it in a registrar's office or share a common name if they want to. While some were completely against holding the ceremony at a registrar's office some said they just "didn't want a ceremony with all the bells and whistles". Because that's what heterosexual people do. They plan big parties at the registrar's office - apparently. And here some people really believed that was a church-thing and not a registrar's thing - but what do they know, after all they're not allowed to get married so you can't really blame them for not knowing about weddings, can you?

Thus continued the discussion about where those homosexuals were to be wed not-quite-married-please-call-it-something-else and other "issues" the conservatives had with the draft until the planned discussion of the issue of gay partnership equalization in the Council of Ministers was moved from June to August. And in the middle of all this the coalition broke, Austria voted again and now the social democrats and the conservatives have been fighting for five weeks about such basic things as whether they'll actually manage to form a working government at all.
The issue of gay marriage? Droned out by politics.

And that is how once upon a time Austria almost got the worst same-sex relationship recognition ever seen.

1 comment:

Maria said...

The issue of gay marriage is nearly always droned out by politics.