The ALP Federal Electorate Council for Warringah has voted unanimously in favour of marriage equality and has called on the Government to introduce legislation of its own to legalise same-sex marriage.
Warringah Federal Electorate Council spokesman Daniel Sharp said the council saw the denial of same-sex marriage as an ongoing form of discrimination towards a sizable proportion of society -a stance which it views as an “untenable and unjustifiable situation in contemporary Australia.”
“This is a commonsense reform that builds on the Labor Government’s achievements to-date in removing much of the legal discrimination which had faced same gender couples prior to Labor’s election to government,” Sharp said.
“Labor has a proud history of breaking down social barriers and is the only progressive party which has the ability to implement these reforms. It’s time that we addressed this issue in the current parliament, before it’s too late.”
The federal Warrigah MP, Opposition leader Tony Abbott, this week refused to be drawn on whether his electorate supports or opposes marriage equality.
Abbott’s seat on Sydney’s Northern Beaches takes in Manly, which has an active LGBTI social group, and Warringah Council which considered establishing a relationship registry for same-sex couples in 2010.
But when asked by media about the level of support in the electorate, Abbott dodged the question and stated his personal opposition on the issue.
“My view has always been that marriage is between a man and a woman,” Abbott said, “I accept that not everyone agrees with me on this and constituents are welcome to make contact with my office about this issue.”
Abbott did not take part in the recent report back to Parliament organised by Greens MP Adam Bandt and this is the first time he has invited constituents to share their views with him on the issue.
Sharp said Abbott’s vocal opposition on the issue was one of the motivating factors in the council passing the motion, and they feared for what might happen for same-sex couples were an Abbott Coalition government elected.
“We all know Mr Abbott is opposed to removing this form of blatant discrimination towards same gender couples and, true to form, he is likely to vote no in any vote on the issue,” Sharp said.
“As a result, it is imperative that the Gillard Government legislates for this reform as soon as possible.”
The Star Observer revealed last year that Abbott abstained from voting on a motion condemning police violence against participants in the first Sydney Mardi Gras in 1978 while on the Sydney University student representative council, and then voted against the motion being passed on to the then NSW Government.