Swimming Australia Says Their Entire Board Will Vote For Marriage Equality

Australian politics are consumed this week by the mail-in vote that will determine the future of gay marriage in the nation. The latest polling by the Guardian shows that while favor for marriage equality is waning as compared to its peak polling support in past weeks, a vote in favor of legalizing gay marriage is still the expected outcome.

The matter has led to many heated debates, even by political standards, to the extent that even sporting bodies are becoming involved. Swimming Australia released a statement on Tuesday that is gingerly supportive of the measure (with a ‘yes’ vote being for legalizing gay marriage). While the organization made it clear that after a meeting they “felt it appropriate for all Swimming members to have the opportunity to have their own position,” they also said that “without exception, each Board & Executive member will be exercising their individual right as Australians to support the notion of marriage equality.”

That can be interpreted as something along the lines of “we won’t tell our members how to vote, but every powerful person at Swimming Australia will support marriage equality,” while simultaneously encouraging respectful discussion.

Among the Australian swimmers who are in favor of marriage equality is Ian Thorpe, who came out as gay after he completed his swimming career. In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, Thorpe said “The reason why it’s personally important for me is the message it sends to a young me – that the way that I felt is equal to the way anyone else feels. I think it’s when we have this kind of recognition in marriage equality that young people can feel that and we start to get rid of all of those layers of discrimination the LGBTIQ community can face.”

Thorpe, a 9-time Olympic medalist and one-time World Record holder in the 200, 400, and 800 freestyles, has become one of the major faces of the pro-equality campaign.

In a search of Australia’s most well-known swimmers, we didn’t cross a single athlete who was publicly opposed to the bill, though most chose not to weigh in at all:

Find the full statement from Swimming Australia below:

The individual Board members of Swimming Australia discussed the postal vote afforded to all Australians on the issue of marriage equality at its Board Meeting yesterday.

Swimming Australia is an organisation of members and stakeholders with diverse backgrounds and opinions; and our organisational policies reflect our ongoing and serious commitment to inclusion, fairness and acceptance.

Without exception, each Board & Executive member will be exercising their individual right as Australians to support the notion of marriage equality.

Swimming Australia CEO Mark Anderson said that the Board recognised that as a sport we have past and present champions who have strong positions on this topic. We absolutely support these individuals and support their right to have a strong voice in relation to this social issue.

Swimming Australia Directors also strongly believe that everyone has an equal right to make an informed decision on the issue and recognise that this is a topic where there will be differing views on marriage equality across the community and across our sport.

Swimming Australia Directors welcomed and encouraged an informed and respectful discussion on the issue. The organisation strongly believes that everyone has an equal right to make an informed decision on the issue.

On this basis the Board felt it appropriate for all Swimming members to have the opportunity to have their own position and encouraged all of our members to express their perspective in the postal plebiscite.

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Dumb. Dumb. And dumber.


Ignorant. Ignorant. And ignorant.


Bible. Bible. Bible.


Fan fiction fan fiction fan fiction

Swimmer A

Practice Practice Practice

Swimmer A

Unrelated but still important…


Only thing I dont get is why we keep adding all these letters to LGBT.


How would allowing LGBT couples the right to marry make anyone’s life worse off? There is no affect on marriage as an institution at all. This doesn’t change anything other than allowing people to live the life that fulfills them the most and I really don’t know what else to say to someone who wouldn’t support that. Good for Swimming Australia and good for love.


SCOOBYSNAK, allowing gay folks to marry may not make anyone,s life worse off or maybe it may. Remember some businesses are being forced to bake gay cakes for gay couples. “Marriage” by defination has always been a “religious” ceremony between one man and one woman and many of those PRIVATE businesses selling wedding cakes are CHRISTIAN therefore RELIGIOUS and MARRIAGE is a RELIGIOUS institution. So a christian business is very right to be worried about “gay marriage “. I,ve never been against civic unions though. And California voted against gay marriage but the politicians ignored that. To say that gay marriage won’t negatively affect religious freedom is a fantacy. I hear California is looking to jail folks who call a… Read more »


I’m not sure about US law, of law in any other country, but in the UK a services business is not private. Just as any business/employer, there are regulations. If you run a business offering a service, you offer that service to everybody or nobody. It’s a simple as that. The question in the ‘gay cake’ scenario is simply, “Would the said business make wedding cakes for ‘traditional’ marriages?”. Legally (In Britain at least), if the answer is yes, they are breaking the law by not offering that service to others. It’s pretty simple. Nobody is telling them what to believe, but when you run a business, your personal views are irrelevant and you have to adhere to the laws… Read more »


DEE, still gay marriage is a threat to religious freedom. Folks have said this for a long time.
what if the wedding cake business is within the vicinity of a church?

And should a church be forced to serve the “public” by performing gay marriage since gay marriage is now legal. Churches are PRIVATE by the way. So the argument you make is very dangerous for the churches. And if you think liberals are beyond forcing churches to perform gay weddings (it,s legal) then you don’t know liberals very well. Could happen in the future.


Churches aren’t businesses, as you say, so you make your own point. Nobody is advocating forcing churches or treating them like cake businesses. It’s a church by church basis, Episcopal, Anglican and even some Methodist in the UK have adopted gay marriages widely. What’s wrong with giving those institutions the right to chose whether they want to carry out ‘gay marriages’?

Having said that, I find it all a bit rich from American ‘religious institutions’, paying no tax and claiming to act as charities, then wielding such power in the offices of governance with a super-lobby doing anything but charitable work. But, each to his own.


I know churches aren’t “businesses” but what if a cake making “busineness” tailored specifically for the members of the church is within the premises of the church.

So the church isn’t a business but christian members of the church have “businesses” which is “marriage related” within church premises tailored to members of the church.
The whole church is also PRIVATE.

There are mid sized and mega churches in the US which offer all kind of services to folks within the church.


Churches don’t have to marry straight couples if they don’t see fit and obviously the same applies with gay couples. As a straight man I had to take a pre-marriage class with my fiancé for several weeks and then we had to do mentoring with another couple. If the church and door of the mentor couples didn’t see it as close as they fit pair we win then be allowed to marry at the church


Marriage is a religious institution which is why atheists’s are less likely than Christians to divorce. I find it insane how some people let a book written by different authors thousands of years ago and was likely changed hundreds of times influence them to deny love


UBERFAN Christians who attend church regularly. At least once a “week” or so are the least likely to divorce in america. The crazy fundamentalist christian types are even less likely than those who attend church services once a week. There are Christians who attend church once a “month”. Others once a “year”. Those don’t count per see. Ever heard of that dysfunctional fundamentalist duggar family. Their first son Josh duggar molested his sisters as a kid then cheated on his wife ( anna duggar) by looking for sex via the internet. They are still married and even had another kid after all that scandal. They have 5 kids now I think. Everyone was telling his wife to divorce him. Including… Read more »


I am not sure where or why you transitioned from gay marriage to transgender laws, as those are two separate discussions. Also, it’s not about cakes, just like it was never about water fountains. #loveislove

Swimmer Thieroff

Ayo Carlo, get off of InfoWars and try reading a dictionary.


I stoped reading at “religious”… whatever that’s supposed to mean…
Point is: just mind your own business and let folks be happy!

northern light

Marriage is by definition a “religious ceremony? Hmm. We got married at City Hall. No one ever said we were Not married because it was not performed at a place of worship. Approving gay marriage is such an easy give. If you do not approve of gay marriage, then do not marry a gay person. If invited to a gay marriage, you could refuse to RSVP. I doubt any one would miss you,

Caeleb Dressel WILL get 7 golds in Tokyo

Can a mod remove all of these comments? The swim swam website shouldn’t have a bitter debate. Coaches look at these comments and so do swimmers and parents. Their opinion of swim swam may go down if they see immature arguments in the comment section.


Why? It lets other users know who the crazy evangelicals are?

Caeleb Dressel WILL get 7 golds in Tokyo



Yeah I think people like HSSWIMMER who use a book that may not even be real as a way to treat people differently for something not their choice are crazy. I’m sure he or she will do so well in college with their attitude

Caeleb Dressel WILL get 7 golds in Tokyo

This is nonsense. Stop bullying on swim swam.

Caeleb Dressel WILL get 7 golds in Tokyo

Some of the smartest people in the world are, and were Christians, or at least believe in a deity.


Sorry, a man has just openly denied that transgender people exist and you’re complaining about UBERFAN questioning the morality of using a book (a long out of date book) as a sole moral compass? Right…

Caeleb Dressel WILL get 7 golds in Tokyo

Tell me, if the material world is all there is, then why must we accept that people say they are a woman or man when they are not? I can identify as an old man right?


I suggest you look into the science. Physical & chemical gender are decided by different things. Example, men & women have minorly different brain structures. Numerous scientific studies have found that transgender people share brain structures with their perceived gender, not their natal gender (So, a male to female TG woman shares more brain structure with a female than a male).

This is what I mean by ‘out of date’ ideas. Science is answering questions. The human body beyond our anatomy is such a complex thing, a foetus is formed in what scientists call waves, it doesn’t take much to knock them off kilter.


Science? That’s just a bunch of proven nonsense


Those studies have been debunked by real biologists not scientist trying to be politically correct. Or scientists who lean left in politics (which is most of them). Our universities are awash with leftist professors so there goes that. Differences in brain they say? What of girls who were tom boys as little children. Behaving in a stereotypical male way. Wearing boyish clothes. Saying they want to hang with the boys. Some expressing a wish to be boys. Then suddenly during their teens they become a girly girl. Wearing dresses. Some wearing short skirt etc. Their brains suddenly changed? Or kids who had transgender tendencies growing out of it as adults. Their brains changed twice? Or boys who took hormones as… Read more »


Why can’t girls be tomboys and still be girls? Wanting to wear “boyish clothes” and “do boyish things” doesn’t mean you want to be a boy. Besides, there’s no specific reason why clothes should be “boyish” or “girlish” Those are societal constructs. I’m not sure if gender is a societal construct or not, but the trappings of it (clothes, preferred activities) are.


I know but a skirt is definately girlish except maybe in Scotland. guys have their traditional skirts there.
But a guy wearing a skirt??

Justin Thompson

According to science there’s an X and a Y chromosome and two of them determine the gender. What combination represents a transgender?


HSWIMMER: you do realize that the Bible actually says to stone gay people to death, right (Leviticus 20:13)? So, if your first defense is to mention the Bible…. does this mean you condone the killing of gay people? If you don’t, then you don’t reeeeally agree with the Bible.

Yes or no please.


He or she provably does more sins than any gay person


But didn’t jesus stop the stonning of that harlot woman in the new testament?

When he said let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Liberals love that line.

But he also said Go and sin no more. Liberals ignore this line.

Besides the old testament and the new testanent show two faces of the same God.
A loving, forgiving God who is also a consuming fire according to the bible.

Or a loving forgiving God who tolerates no sin.

The bible says he showed both faces in the old and new testaments. So he is someone to fear.

we,’ll all find out if he exists when we go to the grave.
Maybe there is or maybe there,s no afterlife. Who knows.


It’s impossible not to sin. So Jesus is a jerk for giving an impossible command.


If you say so


Oh yeah try not to sin, you know coveting is a sin right? Is there nothing in tbis world you want? And are you gonna tell me you can go the rest of your life without lying

Caeleb Dressel WILL get 7 golds in Tokyo

It’s impossible not to sin. That is the reason we need Jesus. Jesus didn’t sin, so if we repent of our sins, and trust in him for salvation, then God will treat us as if we were perfect, even though Christians continue sinning. God is Holy, he isn’t a jerk.


Comment awaiting moderation as usual


I find these ‘things’ utterly jarring. That as supposedly liberal, decent democracies we sit and ‘debate’ the most basic rights of fellow citizens like it’s a tough moral decision. How can we feel it’s our right to debate someone’s life and decide how they can live by putting a tick in a box after a toxic ‘debate’ full of hate. It’s utterly shameless. I remember sitting and watching as our own parliament here in Britain ‘debated’ my future. The comments on TV shows about “what comes next? Incest? Marrying animals?”… The utter dehumanisation of people was unfathomable. Strength & unity to all the gay (and like-minded straight) Australians feeling at a loss & under-valued right now, hopefully your people do… Read more »

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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