Public submissions to Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young’s Marriage Equality Amendment Bill have been published online, and so far those opposing marriage equality are in the lead.

Even though consistent polling shows approximately 60 percent of Australians support marriage equality, we can only be certain that those opposing it will try to be the most vocal on this
topic. And we cannot let this happen!

However, a high level of support, or at least a lack of opposition, from the general public will not necessarily translate to reform.

It is imperative that the community gets involved and writes to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Inquiry on this issue.

We need to show we have support from diverse sectors of the community, including our heterosexual friends, family members and allies. This will demonstrate the broad base of support that exists for equality, and reframe the debate from a ‘minority’ issue to a reform that affects the broader community.

It will also help dispel the ridiculous myth that giving same-sex couples the right to marry will somehow lessen the meaning and importance of marriage for heterosexual couples.

So get your family, friends, colleagues, neighbours, and even your barista to write in, showing their support for marriage equality.

You might be wondering what you can write about. Keep it simple. Just tell your personal story, or that of your friends or family. Personal stories are very helpful to those people in the
Senate who are trying to make a case for marriage equality — putting a human face reforms will strengthen the case for equality.

Your submission can be as short or as long as you would like, and only needs to say what marriage means to you.

You may want to give a brief overview of how marriage equality will affect our community — that as a civil institution, marriage should not discriminate against same-sex couples.

You may be waiting to marry your long-term partner; or maybe you were married overseas and have come to Australia where your marriage is not recognised; or you might have two children and a house in Earlwood; or perhaps you’ve even been the bridesmaid at your five sisters’ weddings and you’ve had enough!

Or you may even be very happily single, or partnered, with absolutely no interest in the institution of marriage, but you want the right to choose that.

The GLRL is working on our submission and if you want a bit of inspiration, visit http://glrl.org.au/index.php/Take-Action/Marriage-Enquiries/

Alternatively, email your submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs secretariat at [email protected]

By LAINIE ARNOLD, NSW GLRL

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