ABS reveals growing acceptance of same-sex couples
A new report by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has shown same-sex couples are beginning to make up a larger portion of Australia’s total number of couples.
The ABS report found same-sex couple families made up 0.7 per cent of the total population but this figure increased to 1.6 per cent of all partners aged between 15 and 24.
This number also decreased to only 0.1 per cent of all couples over the age of 65.
“The higher rates at younger ages could reflect societal change which has made people more likely to identify their homosexuality and also made it easier for them to set up households together,” the report said.
“Although same-sex partners made up a greater proportion of all partners in the 15–24 years age group, the peak age group for numbers of same-sex partners was 35–44 years. About 30 per cent of all people in same-sex partnerships fell in that age group.”
In the report the ABS also found a majority of 86 per cent of same-sex couples lived together without children or any other relatives.
Marriage equality advocates have claimed the new report from the 2011census shows an increase of same-sex couples integrating into mainstream life which makes excluding them from marriage look more out-dated.
"The number of self-reporting same-sex couples is increasing as more couples feel able to be open about their relationship,” Australian Marriage Equality national convener Alex Greenwich said.
"In particular, increased social tolerance means we can be found in growing numbers across regional and rural Australia with relatively high numbers in places like northern NSW, central Victoria and regional Queensland.
"We are also participating more in community and family life with an increase in the percentage of same-sex couples raising children (for females it has gone up to a third), and a growing proportion of us reporting that we are people of faith."
Greenwich added the overall increase in same-sex couples with children acts as an extra piece of evidence as to why marriage should be granted to same-sex couples.
"The increase in children being raised by same-sex parents is a reminder of the need for marriage equality because these children are currently deprived of the security and stability having married parents can bring,” he said.
"All these demographic changes are arguments for marriage equality because they show that being in a same-sex relationship is increasingly unremarkable and not a significant marker of difference."