A COALITION of groups that fought against the government’s proposed marriage equality plebiscite earlier this year have launched a new campaign urging Liberal and National MPs to press for a free vote.

The ‘Make It Law’ campaign asks supporters of marriage equality in Australia to email federal MPs and encourage them to resort to ‘Plan B’, a free vote in parliament, in order to legalise same-sex marriage.

For just.equal spokesperson Ivan Hinton-Teoh, the issue around passing marriage equality via a free vote is a personal one.

He and his partner recently celebrated their eight wedding anniversary since marrying in Canada and their third since marrying in Canberra.

“We have experienced the unifying nature of marriage, not just between us as a couple, but that of our families,” he said.

“Getting married helped our families understand our relationship more than any other single act could.

“This has not only created closer bonds between us as a family, but an absolute recognition of the legal significance of our relationships – Chris is, without a doubt, my next-of-kin.”

Hinton-Teoh added that the importance of marriage equality isn’t only important for his future self, but also his younger self.

“It’s also about thirteen-year-old Ivan, terrified of what life had in store for him,” he said.

“He had no role models, no plan laid out like his heterosexual peers and no suggestion that he could ever have a lifelong and beautiful relationship like his parents.

“Regardless of whether you want to marry, marriage equality should at the very least give a thirteen-year-old Ivan hope.

“Maintaining positive pressure and showing that the overwhelming majority of Australians are looking for reform will help us get there.”

Spokesperson for Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), Shelley Argent, said marriage equality is an issue close to both her and her son.

“To me personally, I feel that marriage equality will validate my gay son’s relationship with the person he chooses as his life partner with instant recognition,” she said.

“It will also show that his partner or husband will be officially included as part of our family unit.

“We believe that many [supportive MPs] are concerned about acting alone, but as a group they will be more confident to bring change.

“LGBTI people need to take their stories in hard copy and photos to leave with their MPs to show real people are affected.”

If ‘Plan B’ were to fall through and no free vote is held in this term of parliament, Argent believes ‘Plan C’ will be to boot the current government out.

“Plan C to me is to ensure the Coalition will be voted out if they don’t act on marriage equality beforehand,” she said.

The ‘Make It Law’ campaign was created by Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), just.equal, and Rainbow Families.

Supporters are urged to send through emails encouraging MPs to legalise same-sex marriage and resort to ‘Plan B’, a free vote in parliament.

Members of the LGBTI community and their allies can either email their Liberal MPs or their Labor MPs.


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