The Greens will reintroduce their marriage equality bill into the Senate today following the success of the UK’s gay marriage bill in the House of Commons on Tuesday.
“Australia is falling behind the rest of the world when it comes to marriage equality and I will now be reintroducing my bill into the Senate,” Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said this morning.
“I am reintroducing my marriage equality bill in an effort to bring about this essential reform because, in an election year, the Australian people have a chance to make their voices heard.
“I congratulate [UK Prime Minister] David Cameron for working to bring about this reform and look forward to the day when we see political leadership on this issue in our own country.
Hanson-Young said that while the majority of marriages in Australia are conducted by civil celebrants, her bill, like the British bill, would preserve churches and religious organisations’ right to choose which couples they wish to marry.
“If politicians, including conservatives, in England have the courage to represent their public on this issue, why can’t the Australian Parliament do the same?” she said.
“The majority of Australians support marriage equality and now it is not a question of if, but when, the government will choose to listen to the people on this issue.
“Do we, as a nation, want to fall further behind on this essential reform or do we want to join our allies in the modern world by allowing gay and lesbian Australians to marry the person they love.”