South Australian Liberal Party leader Isobel Redmond has become the second state Coalition leader to declare support for marriage equality.
Redmond’s endorsement of same-sex marriage came shortly after outgoing Labor Premier Mike Rann made his own calls for its introduction at the weekend.
Redmond joins Queensland Liberal National leader Campbell Newman in supporting same-sex marriage.
Australian Marriage Equality national convenor Alex Greenwich welcomed Redmond’s statement, saying it shows leaders on all sides of politics are opening their hearts and minds to equality.
“Increasing support for marriage equality from conservative leaders shows this is not a political issue but a human issue,” Greenwich said.
“Australians are increasingly embracing the importance of marriage equality, and it means a lot to same-sex couples and our families that conservative leaders are now sharing this view.”
Premier Rann, delivering the Flinders University Investigator lecture on Sunday night, declared it unfair and discriminatory to deny same-sex couples the right to wed, saying that refusing equal rights to gay couples diminished society at large.
“It is, quite simply, unfair to prevent same-sex couples from having their relationship — a union that is viewed as equal in every other aspect of the law — being recognised as a legal marriage,” he said.
“It only serves to undermine the legitimacy of their relationship, and their family.
“Same-sex marriage is an idea whose time has well and truly arrived.”
He joins fellow state Labor leaders John Robertson (NSW), Daniel Andrews (VIC) and Eric Ripper (WA), who have all voiced support for marriage equality.
Incoming South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill has also spoken in favour of marriage equality.
Rann called on the federal Government to change the Marriage Act, saying Labor’s legislative changes had not gone far enough to ensure equality.
“This must be through the institution of marriage at a federal level, rather than the halfway house of civil unions, as recently introduced in some other states, as well as in New Zealand and the UK,” he said.