Alex Greenwich of The Equality Campaign is justly proud of the LGBT community and its supporters’ achievement of marriage equality in Australia yesterday, and the fact that they have done it “simply and fairly”.
“[…] marriage equality is now law! […] our country can be truly proud”, he said.
Greenwich, originally from New Zealand, moved to Australia when he was seven, and is one of two openly-gay male MPs in the New South Wales legislative assembly. He married his long-term partner, German Victor Hoeld, in Argentina in 2012. His marriage, and that of others who have married abroad, will now be immediately recognised in Australia.
Yesterday, assembly members voted overwhelmingly to allow same-sex marriage, just a week after it was passed in the senate, with only Keith Pitt, Russell Broadbent, David Littleproud, and Bob Katter voting against. Australia’s plebiscite on same-sex marriage saw a YES vote from 61.6% of the Australian voters, with the postal survey costing $122 million to conduct. Prime Minister of Australia, Malcolm Turnbull, had promised to bring in equal marriage before Christmas, and this has now been fulfilled.
“No words can do true justice to how momentous, meaningful and powerful this achievement is. For the couple who have been waiting 50 years to propose, for the young person growing up in a small town figuring out who they are — [this] is a huge day. The relationships of LGBTI Australians can finally be seen as they are: equally loving, committed, meaningful and worthy of recognition and celebration”, Greenwich added.
He was previously national convener of Australian Marriage Equality, and organised over 44,000 submissions to the 2011 senate inquiry into same-sex marriage.
Greenwich can now celebrate, knowing that all of his hard work wasn’t in vain. He includes everyone who worked for marriage equality over the years in Australia, and says:
“Together we have achieved something historic by bringing people together. From those who marched in the first Mardi Gras in 1978, to those who marched for YES this year — united we continue to advance the cause of a decades-long struggle for fairness and equality for all”.
Gay couples will be able to lodge a ‘notice of intended marriage’ from 9th December, with the first same-sex weddings possible in Australia from 9th January next year.