The Greens say they will take their fight for marriage equality to the states.

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young was in Melbourne today along with Greens candidate for Melbourne Brian Walters to announce, that if elected, Walters will introduce legislation to allow same-sex marriage at a state level.

“Yes we need a national approach, of course we need [to allow] all Australian’s the opportunity to marry the person they love,” Hanson-Young said.

“But, if we can’t get the movement we need in the Federal Parliament, we need to make sure Victorians have the opportunity to have equality.”

Walters, himself a barrister, confirmed the party has sought advice from University of NSW constitutional expert George Williams to help develop a bill.

“Same-sex love is not second class love, it’s as valuable and as important, and as in need of support by the community as heterosexual love,” Walters said.

“The Commonwealth Parliament has passed laws in relation to marriage that say all we’re doing in the Commonwealth Parliament is heterosexual marriage, so they’ve left open to states, the power to make laws in relation to same-sex marriage.

“We invite [Premier] Mr Brumby and [Opposition Leader] Mr Baillieu to say it will be a conscience vote in relation to that issue, when the bill comes through.”

The Herald Sun today reported Brumby declined to offer an opinion on the issue, stating he believes marriage to be a federal matter.

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