Rodney CroomeRodney Croome is the National Convenor of Australian Marriage Equality.

There has never been a better opportunity to vote for love.

On September 7 your vote can help create a parliament that is more supportive of marriage equality than ever before. Across all parties there are candidates who support marriage equality. The more of these candidates we elect, the closer we come to marriage equality. In Lower House seats across the country there is a clear choice between pro and anti-marriage quality candidates.

This is also the case in the Senate, where your vote can make even more of a difference. If you take the easy option of just voting above the line for a particular party you let that party decide which Senate candidates your vote ends up supporting. Take control of your vote. Vote below the line so you can put pro-marriage equality candidates first.

Thanks to the passion and commitment of marriage equality supporters the issue has been more prominent this election campaign than at any time in Australian history. Kevin Rudd is committed to marriage equality as a matter of urgency. Tony Abbott has recognised it is an important issue and said his party room will consider a conscience vote. High-profile Liberals like Kelly O’Dwyer and Teresa Gambaro have declared support, while Labor candidates like Michael Danby and David Feeney have pledged to vote in favour for the first time ever.

The Greens and Labor have ruled out supporting a civil union scheme, and even the Katter and Palmer parties have allowed a conscience vote. An unprecedented number of candidates in across all parties have declared their support for reform. Regardless of which party wins government on September 7, the next parliament will be more supportive of marriage equality than the last one.

This means it’s time to start planning how we muster this support to achieve marriage equality. Cross-party co-operation will be crucial for moving the issue forward, as it has been at the state level. Equally important is bringing together supporters within the Coalition so they can map a path towards a conscience vote.

AME has recruited high-profile LGBTI community advocate and corporate CEO, Peter Urmson, to co-ordinate this work. Peter has long-standing contacts across the political spectrum and is perfectly placed to bring politicians together.

In Peter’s words, “my focus will be on creating the space where members from different parties can build trust and work together to achieve reform.”

Whoever wins government on September 7, the real winner in this election campaign has been marriage equality. Post election, it will be up to all of us to build on this win to finally achieve this long-overdue reform.

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