Australia: The Equality Campaign – “We have a Bill for marriage equality!”

Image: Auspic – aph.gov.au

Anna Brown of The Equality Campaign in Australia says:

“We now have a bill for marriage equality, written by Government politicians who are pushing for a free vote. This is an exciting moment — one we should all be incredibly proud of”.

If this legislation is passed, marriage would be defined as a union between two people, finally allowing all Australians to marry the person they love.

She also warns:

” But getting Parliament to hold a vote on marriage equality will take all of us: Call your MP and Senators before they meet [today] and tell them you want politicians to vote on this bill. (Or, if you can’t make a call, send a message)”.

The Equality Campaign acknowledges the work ordinary Australian citizens have done towards getting things to this point:

“We would not be at this critical moment without each and every one of you. You’ve campaigned tirelessly in your community, spoken with your friends and family about why everyone should be treated equally under the law and — most importantly — shown strength when taking your message straight to our politicians.

Your actions over the last weeks, months and years have brought us here. We’ve been campaigning for a long time — but now our politicians have the opportunity to make marriage equality a reality, by voting on a Bill that reflects the hard work and extensive consultation undertaken by a Senate committee earlier this year”.

She also asks marriage equality supporters:

“Can you ask our politicians to pass marriage equality when they meet in Parliament this fortnight?”

This moment builds on years of work from supportive politicians in the Australian parliament — there have been numerous marriage equality bills from Greens, Labor and the cross bench over the years. Each of these has served an important purpose, building support and drawing attention to the need for change.

Anna goes on:

“Today we are especially excited because no bill has gone through a more rigorous process, nor had a more genuine chance of passing. At the end of last year, the Senate established a special inquiry to explore what marriage equality legislation should look like in Australia. This working group of Liberal, National, Labor, Greens, and Xenophon Team Senators worked together, and openly consulted with thousands of Australians”.

After engaging widely with the community, these Senators reached consensus on a pathway forward for marriage equality. Now those recommendations have been turned into a Bill, and triggered a new discussion on how to get legislation into, and passed by, the Australian Parliament.

Anna concludes:

“The time has come for every couple to be treated equally under the law. Australians don’t want more excuses or delaying tactics from our politicians – we want marriage equality, and this Bill heading to Parliament will deliver it. Let’s get on with it! Hopefully, we will be able to celebrate together soon”.

Momentum is building, but there is still strong opposition: Keep calling your politicians and asking them to hold a vote in Parliament!

For more information on the Bill, visit the newly-created page on the website where The Equality Campaign will put information as it becomes available.

You can also visit The Equality Campaign on Twitter or Facebook.

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The new LGBT magazine; available online, for download and on podcast. It's time for another view.
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