2015 was a big year for marriage equality in the Western world. Ireland and the US were the latest countries to join the marriage equality countries list, with discussion starting and continuing in even more countries. With the vast majority of countries still not on board, the fight for marriage equality remains a long one, but 2015 has shown us we can win countries over, one by one, if we play the game right.
And the most important part of playing the game right is simply to keep the issue in the cultural conversation, globally, until it's all done, all around the world. In 2016, as always, talk about this important issue with your family and friends, and other potentially interested people, whenever you can. Future generations will thank you. After all, previous generations worked hard to get us the rights and freedoms we all take for granted, so we need to pay it forward.
We also need to know how the battleground looks, in every round of the game, in order to play it right. As English speaking people, the greatest cultural impact we can have are with English speaking countries, so I believe it's there we should focus our collective efforts, at least in the first instance. The battleground landscape here has changed considerably in 2015, so that now the only remaining English speaking Western countries without marriage equality are Australia and Northern Ireland. Our marriage equality conversation in 2016 should therefore be focussed on these places. (Forget about US Republicans rolling back equality there - it's not happening)
This year, Australia looks particularly promising, with the Prime Minister and Opposition leader there already supporting marriage equality, and action likely to be seen late this year or early next year, after the federal election due around September. In these circumstances, keeping the discussion up leading up to the election is very important. And I believe the whole English speaking world can help. We should do our best to keep marriage equality trending in Twitter, keep news of marriage equality on people's Facebook feeds, and keep the topic very much alive over the course of 2016.
Marriage equality is a global effort, it's not done until it's standard worldwide. Even if you already live in a country with marriage equality, you need to keep fighting. After all, a US or UK same-sex marriage clearly remains 'not equal' if it's not recognised when the couple is on holiday in Australia (something many US and UK couples do every year, without affecting their marital status, may I add), right?