Marriage equality advocates have welcomed the support of the Foreign Minister Bob Carr, who told The Age he was in favour of a change to the Marriage Act.

“[It] seemed churlish to deny access to marriage to groups that wanted it,” Carr said.

He said his support for gay marriage was consistent with the work he did as New South Wales premier to remove discrimination against gay and lesbian people from state laws.

Australian Marriage Equality national convenor Alex Greenwich said Carr had evolved from a position where he thought civil unions were the way forward.

“Thousands of constituents have recently written to Senator Carr and shared how this reform would benefit them, their families, and their communities,” Greenwich said.

“In doing so they have proved how effective our grassroots campaign has been compared to the alarmism and extremism of opponents of reform.”

There are 31 declared supporters of marriage equality in the Senate, including 20 from Labor, 9 Greens, and 2 from the Coalition.

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