VIDEOS of speeches given by prominent marriage equality supporters at a Brisbane forum held earlier this year have been released online in their entirety.
The purpose of the videos (scroll down to view them all) is to maintain pressure on the matter in light of recent political developments.
“The present federal government is consumed with the economy and strife in the Middle East. However, economies are cyclical and always need refining and upheaval in the Middle East seems ongoing,” Argent said.
“Meanwhile, our same-sex attracted sons and daughters remain on hold while continuing to pay taxes, serving and some, giving their lives in the defence forces but not good enough to have their relationships recognised by marriage.”
Advocates spoke of the personal reasons behind their support for marriage equality rights in Australia at a forum held in August at the New Farm Uniting Church and organised by Australian Marriage Equality (AME).
The panel included prominent Australians from all spheres including political, religious and medical.
Speakers included Argent, along with the lesbian sister of Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Sydney Liberal Cr Christine Forster, Australian Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson, and the Anglican Dean of Brisbane, Dr Peter Catt.
Moreton federal Labor MP Graham Perrett, Brisbane federal Liberal MP Teresa Gambaro, psychologist Paul Martin, Tasmanian of the Year and AME national director Rodney Croome, social researcher Sharon Dane and Brisbane Liberal-National Cr Vicki Howard also spoke about their support for marriage equality.
Forster said marriage “speaks to your community, friends and family… about the special relationship you have with your partner” who you have “chosen to be your family”.
Speaking to her difference of opinion with her brother, Forster said that if there was enough support for a conscience vote within the Liberal Party on marriage equality, he would allow it.
“My brother is a very good Liberal and a very good leader of the party and if that’s what the party tells him that’s what he will accept,” she said.
Wilson said that he would be in favour of government legislating for secular marriage and allowing the freedom for churches to conduct their own religious ceremonies.
“They could compete and people could choose which one they want based on the standards set around them,” he said.
“As long as the civil right of marriage exists, it must be open to all people equally.”
Catt said that marriage equality for him was purely about celebrating love.
“Marriage is the rite through which we publicly honour and celebrate love – I support it being open to all,” he said.
“Because if love is the guiding principal to how we are to live, then there really isn’t much room, if any room at all, for other hard and fast rules or structures.
“Always ask – is it loving? If it is, it’s good. This is the only test. This is why I support equal marriage.”
All speakers urged supporters to continue contacting their local MPs from both sides of the political spectrum in order to keep the issue relevant and build upon the public support for marriage equality.
All of the speeches can be viewed below: