Sherry Sufi argues that the passing of the Same Sex Relationships Act and the lack of institutional discrimination against same-sex couples demonstrates that the battle for the equality of treatment for gays and lesbians has already been won in Australia, and the government redefining marriage is "a perfidious and futile attack on language"
Rigorous debate over the status of same-sex relationships has come to pervade Australia's national consciousness in recent years. The far-left demands that gay and lesbian couples be included within the existing definition of marriage and a 'no' for an answer usually leads to emotional outbursts coupled with accusations of homophobia and bigotry. The far-right defends marriage as a fundamentally Judeo-Christian institution that forms the bedrock of modern Western society and maintains that its definition should be preserved as the union between a man and a woman. Exceptions aside, overall the centre-left and the centre-right remain opposed to any changes to the current Marriage Act (1961) and Marriage Amendment Act (2004). When tensions flare up, representatives from each of the two major political parties tend to come forward reassuring the public that the only way to bring this debate to a resolve is through a conscience vote.