State politicians, including senior Coalition members, have expressed their support for marriage equality to the Senate inquiry into same-sex marriage.

Liberal president of the NSW Legislative Council, Don Harwin expressed his “strong support” for efforts to amend the Marriage Act.

“Excluding same-sex couples from having their relationships recognised through marriage is a powerful and harmful message from the Parliament that these relationships are not regarded as equal and are not as valued,” Harwin wrote to the inquiry.

“I do not regard civil unions as an adequate substitute for full equality in marriage for same-sex partners.”

Nationals MLC Trevor Khan wrote that the committee should consider people affected by the ban.

“The most compelling are the personal stories of individuals that have been shared with me since entering the NSW Parliament,” Khan wrote.

Former NSW premier Kristina Keneally wrote to the inquiry to back marriage equality despite the views of the Catholic Church.

“It gives me no relish to be at odds with my Church. But it also gives me no joy to see people who are created in God’s image unable to fully express their humanity, or live with the rights and dignity that heterosexual people are afforded,” she wrote.

Tasmanian premier Lara Giddings urged change, as did her coalition partner, Tasmanian Greens leader Nick McKim, on behalf of his party room.

“I … firmly believe that marriage is a choice that should be made available to all couples including those in same-sex relationships,” Giddings wrote.

“Community opinion polls show clear majority support for marriage equality,” McKim wrote. “It is crucial that politicians heed these figures and legislate to put an end to discrimination once and for all.”

The only submission from a state politician opposing marriage equality published so far has been from NSW Labor MLC Greg Donnelly, who claimed that most Australians do not support marriage equality and urged the inquiry to reject the idea of same-sex marriage “in the strongest terms”.

Clover Moore expressed her support in her capacity as Lord Mayor of Sydney, as did the former federal Australian Democrats leader Brian Greig.

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