Dignity for Disability party MLC Kelly Vincent, a key crossbencher in the South Australian Parliament, has today spoken in support for a motion calling on the Federal Government to introduce marriage equality like that passed by the Tasmanian Parliament last month.
SA Greens MLC Tammy Franks plans to introduce a motion requesting that the Federal Government amend the Commonwealth Marriage Act to allow same-sex marriage in the near future.
“I am a passionate supporter of equality in marriage and rights,” Vincent said, “I strongly believe that all love is equal, and am saddened to think that Australians who love each other are being denied the right to express that love through marriage.”
“This is a question which goes beyond party allegiance, religion or cultural beliefs. It is a question of human rights, and of respect for the deepest feelings of others.”
“People of any background or belief system can be same-sex attracted, and the way the Parliament considers this issue should reflect that fact.”
Vincent called on South Australian MPs to be given a conscience vote on the motion and to be allowed to speak their minds freely.
Vincent also spoke out about what she said was misinformation being used in the same-sex marriage debate.
“Non-supporters of same-sex marriage are entitled to their beliefs, but I am upset by some of the arguments they make which are not factual,” Vincent said.
“For example, detractors often say same-sex attracted couples are more frequently unfaithful than heterosexual couples – even though there is no evidence to suggest such a trend.
“Other non-supporters will say that not all same-sex attracted couples want to get married. Clearly, this is true of both heterosexual and same-sex couples and has little to do with the debate at hand.
“Looking for logic in these arguments is like looking for Iceland on a map of Africa.”
The news comes on the same day that representatives of Australia’s community legal centres (CLCs) unanimously backed a resolution in support of marriage equality at a meeting in Hobart.
350 delegates to the 2011 National CLC Conference passed the resolution calling on the National Association of CLCs to write to the Federal Government urging it to amend the Marriage Act to allow same-sex marriages.
Australian Marriage Equality campaign director, Rodney Croome, welcomed the decision, saying it showed strong support for reform in Australia’s legal sector.
“Australia’s CLCs have always played an important role in law reform and legal advocacy and today they continued that important role by endorsing marriage equality”, Croome said.
“Marriage equality is not only about removing discrimination. It is also about ensuring our laws are based on values like fairness and equity.”