Australia: Advocate Seeks Agreement On Marriage Equality Debate Ground Rules
Leading marriage equality advocate in Australia, Rodney Croome, has reached out to opponents of the reform in an effort to set ground rules for debating the issue of marriage equality, especially in the event of a plebiscite.
The move comes in the wake of a complaint before the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Commission, against some statements in a Catholic booklet on the issue.
In an article in the Hobart Mercury , Mr Croome, who is national director of Australian Marriage Equality, calls on the Human Rights Commission to set up a meeting between marriage equality stakeholders so they can agree on how to conduct the debate freely and respectfully.
Mr Croome wrote that an agreement between the parties needs “to strike a balance between free speech and social responsibility”.
“All stakeholders must agree to each others freedom to state their case.
Stakeholders must also agree to consider the harm their words may cause and speak respectfully.
A high quality debate on marriage equality…will show the world that Australia is a mature democracy able to deal with differences of opinion.”
Mr Croome said he will write to the Human Rights Commission and main organisations opposing marriage equality to gauge their interest in a round table discussion.
Mr Croome said a recent joint statement from both parties in the Tasmanian dispute, stressing their shared commitment to freedom and respect, gives him hope a broader national agreement can be reached.
The Turnbull Government is committed to a plebiscite on marriage equality, despite concerns about the financial and possible human cost.
To read the article on the Mercury website, click here