Rainbow Labor advocates launched ‘Labor for Marriage Equality’ last month on social media sites, Facebook and Twitter involving party members from federal, state and local government.
Photos of high profile Labor members holding signs reading the campaign name including NSW opposition leader John Robertson, federal health minister Tanya Plibersek and federal finance minister Penny Wong (pictured right) have featured.
Other Labor members include Throsby MP Stephen Jones, NSW shadow transport minister Penny Sharpe, federal Melbourne candidate Cath Bowtell, and City of Sydney councillor Linda Scott.
The majority of the party’s rank-and-file members took a stand on the issue at the 2011 ALP National Conference when they changed the policy platform to recognise marriage as a commitment between two people instead of between a man and a woman.
However, just under two thirds of federal Labor Lower House MPs voted for a marriage equality bill last September, where the parliamentary party was allowed a conscience vote.
In a statement, ACT Labor Deputy Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the momentum for marriage equality was unstoppable within the ALP and in the broader community.
“The Australian Labor Party has a strong tradition of standing up for equality and doing what is right for all Australians, regardless of their ethnicity, their gender or their sexuality,” Barr said.
“It is in this tradition that Labor party members have stood up and proudly declared their support for marriage equality.”
Barr moved the amendment to have the platform changed at the 2011 national conference.
WA Labor senator and Rainbow Labor member Louise Pratt said Australia could not achieve marriage equality without the backing of Coalition senators and MPs.
“The reality is that, for this important social reform to pass through the federal Parliament, it must gain support from a majority of parliamentarians,” Pratt said.
“Labor took the important step of allowing Labor parliamentarians to vote with their hearts on this issue. It’s high time that Opposition Leader Tony Abbott allows his parliamentarians to do the same so this social reform can find the majority support it needs to become law.”