Today, SA women get the vote – 119 years ago

18 Dec

One hundred and nineteen years since South Australian women could vote in state elections!  One hundred and nineteen years since women were considered equal with men in public life.   source: Australian Geographic

It’s ironic, wouldn’t you agree, that women in the LCA so many years afterwards still cannot be pastoral leaders of congregations?

Mary Lee was one of the driving forces behind the South Australian suffragette movement. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Mary Lee was one of the driving forces behind the South Australian suffragette movement. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

ON TUESDAY MORNING, 18 December 1894, the division bells tolled 29… 30… 31. At 31 triumphant cries and applause echoed out of the South Australian parliament as tired campaigners celebrated. They had done it. South Australian women had won the right to vote by 31 votes to 14.

The bill had been debated until after midnight the previous evening. And, as with nearly every debate on the issue, women packed into the public gallery of SA’s parliament building to observe the proceedings.

South Australia among first in the world to grant women the vote

South Australia would be the first Australian colony to give women the vote, and only the fourth place in the world to do so, following New Zealand 18 months earlier. The bill that was passed also made South Australia the first place in the world where women could stand for elections. The right to stand for parliament and other liberal privileges was a clause that was attached to the Act by a councillor who had supposed that these additions would make the bill too radical for it to ever be passed.   (more)

When women are finally ordained, this last sentence highlights that there should be no compromises over women bishops.  If there are no barriers to women’s ordination, then there should be no barriers to women bishops.


1 Comment

Posted by on December 18, 2013 in history, sociology, women's ordination


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One response to “Today, SA women get the vote – 119 years ago

  1. martin beach

    June 1, 2018 at 4:32 am

    I’m sorry, but I’d really hate to see schism in the LCA over this issue. I understand that some women and male sympathisers of the cause for Ordination of Women have already left the LCA because they ran out of patience after the last vote @ the synod last year.

    For that I’m sorry and wonder if indeed they might have an understanding that the matter of timing for ordination of rests more on God’s sense of timing than ours. To be sure some of these women would be very frustrated at not being able to be ordained. The men who support them would feel some frustration too at not yet being able to experience the ministry of an ordained woman in the LCA.

    In the aftermath of the 500th anniversary of Luther’s ‘vandalisation’ of the door of his university church, what might he think of our current LCA predicament? If one were to nail theses for debate of a similar ilk today to the door of a major church or cathedral, it might well be regarded as an act of vandalism, particularly if the church is heritage listed.

    Luther certainly wasn’t looking for separation from the main body of Christendom> He hoped that by debating these issues, the Catholic Church might come to its senses: it was a vain hope. We need to think along those lines for dealing with our disappointment at the recent 62% majority decision: God has other plans for us & they will be revealed to us in due course if we only can be patient & give the spirit time to do her work, even if it only means waiting for a few more old hard heads to go the way of all flesh (Much nicer euphemism than ‘pass away”)

    Shalom to you all

    On 12/18/13, Katie and Martin’s Blog on the Lutheran Church


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