LGBTI Groups Unite To Demand Marriage Equality This Year


More than 160 LGBTI organisations, leaders and supporters from around the country have signed a statement calling on the federal parliament to recognise the will of the people and ensure marriage equality is passed by the end of the year.

Debate is continuing in the Senate this week around Liberal Senator Dean Smith’s same-sex marriage bill, with contentious amendments from different sides of politics – and varying levels of support – expected to be put forward.

The groups’ joint statement identifies Dean Smith’s same-sex marriage bill as the best way to achieve marriage equality by consensus.

The joint statement said: “More than 7.8 million people said YES to marriage equality. The strong ‘yes’ vote delivered a loud message – discrimination against LGBTI Australians must end.

“It is now time for our parliament to act and pass marriage equality this year.”

The Equality Campaign’s Anna Brown said the postal survey delivered the “largest ever mandate” from the Australian people and the united statement urges Parliament to act.

“The legislation introduced to parliament by Dean Smith strikes a fair balance between LGBTI couples having equal access to marriage and the need to ensure people can practice their religious beliefs,” she said.

The Equality Campaign’s Alex Greenwich added, “Australians said yes to marriage equality, not to see the no side’s talking points turned into amendments that give a licence to discriminate.

“Fairness and equality are at the heart of Australian society and we believe our laws should reflect these values.

“The consensus bill has support across the government, opposition, and cross-bench and there should be no impediment to it passing now.”

Read the full statement below:

As organisations, leaders and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) communities, following the resounding YES result in the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey, we call for the Parliament to pass marriage equality legislation as soon as possible.

More than 7.8 million people said YES to marriage equality. The strong YES vote delivered a loud message – discrimination against LGBTI Australians must end, and Parliament must allow LGBTI people the right to marry the person they love by the end of the year.

In February, the Parliament delivered a cross-party consensus report that identified a balance of providing protections for religious freedoms while allowing all Australian couples to marry. The report said that:

– Civil marriage celebrants should not be able to discriminate against any LGBTI couple by refusing them the right to marry;
– Religious freedom protections should not exclusively target LGBTI people; and
– No changes to longstanding discrimination protections are necessary in order to allow LGBTI couples the right to marry.

Marriage equality is a straightforward issue of fairness and equality. Every Australian should be treated equally under the law and that includes being able to marry the person that they love. Marriage equality takes from no-one. It will make a profound difference to the lives and dignity of LGBTI Australians and their family and friends.

A mandate to legislate for marriage equality has been delivered by the Australian people through participation in the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey, and parliamentary consensus has been achieved through the Report on the Commonwealth Government’s Exposure Draft of the Marriage Amendment (Same-Sex Marriage) Bill, the principles of which are reflected in the “Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms)” Bill produced by members of the Government and supported by the Opposition.

It is now time for our Parliament to act and pass marriage equality this year.

Signatories:
A Gender Agenda
A Progressive Christian Voice (Australia) Inc
Acceptance Canberra
Acceptance Sydney
ACON
Activate Church
AIDS Action Council of the ACT
Allison Forrest
Ambassadors & Bridge Builders International
Amnesty International
Anthony Venn-Brown
Asian Australian Rainbow Alliance
Assoc Prof Shirleene Robinson
Australian Catholics for Equality
Australian Christians for Marriage Equality
Australian GLBTIQ Multicultural Council
Australian Marriage Equality
Australians for Equality
Benjamin Oh
Brad Chilcott
Brandon Srot
Brave Network
Brisbane LGBTIQ Action Group
Brisbane Pride Festival
Castan Centre for Human Rights Law
Community Legal Centres Queensland
Connect4Life
Corey Irlam
Dawn Hawkins
Dr Gavi Ansara
Dr Kerryn Phelps
Dr Muriel Porter OAM
Dr Paula Gerber
Dr Sarah Midgley
Dr Stephen Burns
Dr Stephen Coleman
Emeritus Professor William Loader FAHA
Emma Halliday
Equal Voices
Ettianne Anshin
Evan Gallagher
Federation of Community Legal Centres (Victoria)
Fr Chris Bedding
Fr Richard Wilson
Fr Stephan Clark
Freedom2b Sydney
FTM Shed
GetUp!
GLBTIQ Interfaith Intercultural Network
Hon Bob Debus
Human Rights Law Centre
Inner City Legal Centre
Jackie Stricker-Phelps
Jamie Gardiner
Jo Jordan
Julie McCrossin
Justin Koonin
Karen Price
Kate Doak
Keith Gerrard
Lesbians in the Shoalhaven Area (L.I.S.A)
LGBTI Health Alliance
LGBTI Legal Service
Magda Szubanski
Malcolm McPherson
Marriage Equality Gilmore
Matt Glover
Merthyr Rd Uniting Church
Metropolitan Community Church – Brisbane
Metropolitan Community Church – Melbourne
Metropolitan Community Church – Sydney
Michele Davis
Minus18
Most Reverend Timothy Mansfield
Muslims Against Homophobia
Natalie Cooper
Nicolas Parkhill
Noeline Bedford
NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby
NSW Nurses and Midwives Association
OII Australia
Out For Australia
Pastor David Coltheart
Peter Black
Peter Williams
PFLAG Illawarra Southern
PFLAG WA
Phil Browne
Pitt Street Uniting Church
Professor George Williams AO
Professor John Williams
Professor Rev Gary D Bouma AM
Public Interest Advocacy Centre
Queerscreen
Rabbi Gersh Lazarow
Rabbi Nicole Roberts
Rainbow Rights WA
Rainbow Territory
Rev Anna Killigrew
Rev Ben Gilmour
Rev Bryan Cones
Rev Carolyn Francis
Rev Chris Albany
Rev Clare Brockett
Rev Craig Collas
Rev Darren Liepold
Rev Deacon Janet Munro
Rev Dr Avril Hannah-Jones
Rev Dr Chris Gorringe
Rev Dr Keith Mascord
Rev Dr Kylie Crabbe
Rev Dr Margaret Mayman
Rev Dr Nikki Coleman
Rev Dr Peter Catt
Rev Dr Robyn Whitaker
Rev Dr Rod Pattenden
Rev Dr Shane Andersen
Rev Elenie Poulos
Rev Gareth Darlow
Rev J Peter Weeks
Rev Jacob Legarda
Rev James Aaron
Rev Janis Huggett
Rev Jennifer Burns
Rev Jo Inkpin
Rev John Dunn
Rev Lorna Green
Rev Melissa Clark
Rev Murray Fysh
Rev Neil Ericksson
Rev Peter Harrison
Rev Ric Holland
Rev Rob MacPherson
Rev Sandy Brodine
Rev Sue Townsend
Ro Allen
Robyn Foster
Rosh Pinah: An Affirming Orthodox Jewish Network
Sally McManus
Sally Rugg
SARAA
Sekneh Beckett
Shannon Power
Sharon Jones
Shine SA
Shoalhaven Gay Mens Social Group
Simon Ruth
Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence
South Coast Rainbow Community
St Michael’s Uniting Church – Melbourne
Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras
Sydney Gay Meditation Group
Sydney Queer Muslims
Temple Beth Israel Melbourne
Tim Peppard
Uniting Network Australia
Unity and Friends, South Australia
Venerable Sam Goodes
Victorian AIDS Council
Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby
WA AIDS Council

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