Discipline of Sociology & Criminology Seminar Series | Queering Relationship Laws in Australia
Discipline of Sociology & Criminology Seminar Series
Queering Relationship Laws in Australia
Speaker: Dr Allen George
Via Zoom – Please email Leah Williams Veazey for Zoom link: email@example.com
Marriage equality is considered to be the pinnacle of legal and social acceptance of LGBTIQ people by members of those communities and the Australian community. The passing of the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Act 2017 altered the Marriage Act 1961 to now recognise marriage as the union of 2 people. This amendment evidences the further queering of relationship laws in Australia and distinguishes it from the approach taken in other common law liberal democracies which based their amendments on a foundation of a same-sex couple rather than 2 people. This paper will analyse key developments on the queering of relationship laws by examining debates on de facto relationships, immigration law and polygamy, and how a shift in discourse from same-sex marriage to marriage equality still managed to produce a queered outcome. Nevertheless, tensions exist in the queering of law between the metaphoric in-laws and outlaws, with insider arguments depicted as a righteous battle for marriage equality, or conversely, as supportive of homo/heteronormativity assimilation, while arguments to remain outside of the law drew on gay liberation and radical feminism, positions now deemed peripheral to both the marriage equality debate and LGBTIQ communities.
Allen George is a lecturer in Socio-legal Studies at the University of Sydney. Allen’s research focuses on historical and current repression of members of the LGBTIQ communities, including use of the homosexual advance defence in courtroom, violence and hate crime committed against members of the LGBTIQ communities and the legal debates on expungement of historical convictions for a homosexual offence. Allen is also interested in the use of transitional justice practices by liberal democratic states, such as political apologies, to make amends for the repressive treatment of LGBTIQ communities.