PLAYERS representing every AFL and AFLW team have signed a petition supporting marriage equality to mark today’s International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT).

In partnership with the Equality Campaign, the footballers are calling on fans to join them in pledging support for a change to Australian marriage laws.

“It’s great to see players put their signature on the petition, and hopefully our support can play some role in creating a more inclusive Australia,” said Essendon captain Dyson Heppell.

“No matter who you are or who you love, we should all have equal rights to marriage.”

The AFL and AFLW, along with the Equality Campaign, have released a video speaking about why marriage equality is important to them.

The AFL Players’ Association (AFLPA) has been signatory to Australian Marriage Equality since 2016 and has supported IDAHOT for the past six years.

AFLPA CEO Paul Marsh said the motivation behind this year’s IDAHOT action came from the payers wanting to build on the awareness generated through their involvement in the campaign.

“The players stand for an inclusive community that doesn’t discriminate on any level, whether it be because of sexuality, race, gender or religion,” he said.

“We’re proud that so many players have put their name to this petition in the hope that their voices help build momentum for marriage equality.

“Marriage is about love and commitment, and it should be available to every Australian. It’s a basic human right—everyone has a right to be treated equally. Quite frankly, I’m embarrassed to live in a country where people are discriminated against for who they love.”

The Equality Campaign executive director Tiernan Brady said, “The majority of Australians and the majority of MPs support marriage equality. It takes from no one but ensures every Australian is afforded the same dignity and respect.”

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