Time for marriage equality

Every Australian who wants to make a life commitment to the person he or she loves should be able to do so, with that commitment being equally recognised and supported by law. It is what we expect in a fair, just, decent and compassionate society.

Denying same sex couples the opportunity to marry legally treats their relationships as different and lesser. I have long opposed discrimination and attitudes that endorse violence and abuse. This is one of the last significant laws that needs changing, and it will again be the theme of my Mardi Gras parade entry this year.

In Parliament, I called on the NSW Government to press the Federal Opposition Leader to allow a conscience vote in his party, and encouraged State MPs to get behind the campaign for marriage equality.

I also encourage supporters of marriage equality to make a submission to the Senate's Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee inquiry into the Marriage Equality Amendment Bill. This Bill seeks to remove all discriminatory references from the Marriage Act 1961 to allow all people, regardless of sex, sexuality and gender identity, the opportunity to marry.

The inquiry is supported by Australians for Marriage Equality and other community groups. It will enable people to present arguments and evidence in support of allowing same sex marriage with the aim gain the support of MPs for reform.

Submissions close on Monday 2 April with the Committee due to provide its report by Friday 25 May 2012.

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