Malcolm Turnbull has been dealt a political blow this week after the Nick Xenophon Team (NXT) withdrew its support for a plebiscite on same-sex marriage. The NXT join the Greens and Labor, which all support marriage equality but oppose Turnbull’s desire for a plebiscite. Normally I would be criticising these political parties for getting in the way of a democratic vote on this issue but because of the structure of the Australian political system, the opposition parties are right to be unforgiving.
When it comes to LGBT rights India has show a different progression to other countries. In many Western countries the chronology of LGBT rights struggles have been largely focused on LGB individuals, because the three are very inter-related, before attention turned to transgender issues. However this has not been the case. Transgender rights in India are more socially acceptable the rights for same-sex couples, which is refreshing but there is still much to be done.
Homophobia, on the other hand, is still commonplace and this issue isn’t discussed enough, both domestically and by foreigners like myself. The LGBT community’s progress is aided by the work of straight allies and India’s new surrogacy bill is an opportunity to build some bridges.