MORE than 100 religious leaders from all major religions in Australia have signed a joint statement calling on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to legislate for civil marriage equality now.

They want to see Australian marriage law include all Australians, which requires a change to the legal definition of civil marriage to include LGBTI people’s relationships and families.

Executive director of The Equality Campaign, Tiernan Brady said, “The majority of the people of faith in Australia support marriage equality so it’s important that their voices are heard.

“Marriage equality is about civil marriage and will have no impact on anyone’s faith, religious institution or sacrament. It is about allowing the state to treat every Australian with dignity.”

Reverend Chris Bedding of the Anglican Parish of Darlington-Bellevue said, “Marriage equality will provide access to marriage to those who yearn for it, and won’t stop people of faith from framing their lives around their beliefs.

“I value marriage so highly that I want all couples to be able to experience the level of love that marriage demands.”

Rabbi Shoshana Kaminsky of Beit Shalom Synagogue Adelaide said, “I’ve signed this petition because I believe that all human beings are created in God’s image and so are entitled to the same legal rights.

“It is my privilege to know people in same-sex relationships whose commitment to one another is just as deep and lasting as those in heterosexual relationships.”

Imam Nur Warsame from Melbourne said, “Marriage equality is a basic human right. Islam is a religion that promotes all human rights, not some human rights.

“It will help a lot of young people gain confidence because they are in an environment that says to them that they are wrong and impure—marriage equality will help a lot in the LGBT Muslim community gain confidence.”

Co-chair of Australians for Equality Anna Brown said the recent cross-party senate report into marriage equality showed loving and committed gay couples can marry while providing assurances around the continued protection of religious freedoms.

“We have the support of so many religious leaders across the nation, the majority of MPs in the parliament and the majority of Australians,” she said.

“We have a cross-party consensus on how marriage equality can be delivered, we just need the parliament to do its job so we can all move forward.”

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