LGBTI groups call on Parliament to recognise the will of the Australian people

27 November 2017

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

“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. It is now time for our parliament to act and pass marriage equality this year,” the joint statement says.

Signed by groups from around the country including ACON, Amnesty International Australia and state Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobbies as well as individuals including actor Magda Szubanski, the statement identifies the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill (2017) drafted by Government MPs and supported by the Opposition as the best way to achieve marriage equality by consensus.

The bill reflects the principles of the Report on the Commonwealth Government’s Exposure Draft of the Marriage Amendment (Same-Sex Marriage) Bill and has wide cross party support, the statement says.

Anna Brown, from the Equality Campaign, said, “This united statement urges Parliament to act in the wake of the strong mandate for marriage equality delivered by the Australian people.

“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.”

The Equality Campaign’s Alex Greenwich said, “There is no place in Australia for alternative bills that give a licence to discriminate in the name of religious freedom.

“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 andthere should be no impediment to it passing now.”

 

MEDIA: Clint McGilvray 0413 285 186 or Steve Offner 0424 580 208

 

Additional Quotes:

“Australians have voted for marriage equality not a green light to discriminate. The cross-party consensus bill is the best way forward now to ensure the will of the Australian people is recognised and that marriage equality becomes a reality by the end of the year.”  Shirleene Robinson, Director, Australian Marriage Equality

“We have come together to ask the parliament to respect the LGBTI community and the Australian public by supporting the consensus bill and getting marriage equality done by the end of the year.” Dr Justin Koonin, President, ACON

“Marriage Equality is about the lives, aspirations and dignity of ordinary Australians and it is important that our parliamentarians hear what LGBTI people – and the majority of Australians – have said they want.” Michele Davis, PFLAG Perth

 

JOINT STATEMENT:

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

Gay Star News

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 John Williams

Professor Rev Gary D Bouma AM

Public Interest Advocacy Centre

Queensland AIDS Council

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 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 for 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

Welcome to Australia

 

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