The Greens will re-introduce their Marriage Equality Bill in the Senate today, delivering on a promise made during the federal election.
Greens spokeswoman on Sexuality and Gender Identity, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, told Sydney Star Observer, “On Wednesday I will re-introduce my Marriage Equality Bill, as promised, at the start of the new Parliament.”
Hanson-Young moved a notice of motion for the bill yesterday, so the bill could be introduced at the first available oportunity.
Hanson-Young said that with reform of parliamentary procedures and public opinion strongly supporting same-sex marriage, the time for a parliamentary debate on the bill was now.
“The election campaign made clear that one area where the community wanted to see change was the removal of discrimination against same-sex couples preventing them from marrying the one they love,” Hanson-Young said.
“With enough community support for this campaign and increasing parliamentary pressure over the next few months, we can achieve a conscience vote for all parliamentarians — and a true reflection of where our Parliament stands on delivering equal marriage for all Australians.”
Hanson-Young called on supporters of marriage equality to write to their MPs and senators if they wanted to see a conscience vote on the bill.
Australian Marriage Equality national convenor Alex Greenwich welcomed the Greens’ re-introduction of the bill and echoed the call for a conscience vote.
“Sarah Hanson-Young’s bill is a simple and straightforward solution to those discriminatory sections of the Marriage Act which ban same-sex partners from officially declaring their love,” Greenwich said.
“Surely members of the federal Labor and Liberal Parties have more important things to do than stop same-sex partners committing to each other.
“The electorate has given the Greens a clear mandate to pursue marriage equality … we hope that this time senators will be allowed to do more to show their support than just not attending the vote.”