Australian Marriage Equality has launched a new campaign for marriage equality law reform, to coincide with the new session of Parliament. A cross-party bill for the legalisation of same-sex marriage is expected to be introduced into Parliament today.
Marriage equality is a bit of a dog’s breakfast in Australia. The Coalition government is in utter disarray over same-sex marriage, while the Labor Party is continuing to use marriage equality as a political football.
At the recent Australian Labor Party National Conference the party made its true position clear … as mud. Effectively, Labor MPs and Senators will continue to exercise a conscience vote for the current (44th) and next (45th) terms of parliament on the issue of marriage equality, before they become bound to vote in favour of it.
The award for the best subsequent Labor Party marriage equality headline goes to SBS News: Labor to proudly stand for marriage equality sometime around 2019.
Conference resolves that the matter of same-sex marriage can be freely debated at any state or federal forum of the Australian Labor party, but any decision reached is not binding on any member of the party. This resolution is rescinded upon the commencement of the 46th parliament.
Resolution at the 47th Australian Labor Party National Conference
I respect the work of Australian Marriage Equality, especially their patience and perseverance, beyond words. I doubt I would be able to maintain their decorum and grace in face of the frustrating political games our elected representatives are playing with marriage equality in Canberra.
The latest campaign titled ‘#WeCanDoThis‘ brings together Australian celebrities and athletes calling for marriage equality in a series of television commercials that started airing on Sunday.
Two ads featuring actor Hugo Weaving, comedian Julia Morris, journalist Chris Bath, TV cook Julie Goodwin, and many others, kicked off the campaign.
This is a timely campaign given the upcoming vote in Parliament and the recent anti-gay campaigns launched by Marriage Alliance and the Australian Marriage Forum targeting politicians, and the public, in the lead up to the anticipated vote.
Please support Australian Marriage Equality’s Go Fund Me campaign ‘Let’s get marriage equality on TV!’, so they can show their TV commercials in support of marriage equality nationwide!
It remains to be seen whether we can pull it off, especially without a conscience vote for Coalition MPs and Senators, but we are certainly giving it a good Aussie go.
Politicians arriving at Canberra Airport for the current session of Parliament were in for a surprise, with the owners of the airport joining Australian Marriage Equality’s campaign, lighting up in rainbow colours and displaying a giant ‘#WeCanDoThis’ sign in support of their gay son and his husband.
Those who oppose marriage equality appear to be genuinely convinced they are representing the majority of silent Australians, but with each passing day it becomes clearer and clearer modern Australia is ready for marriage equality. A majority of Australians now understand same-sex marriage is about love, respect and equality under the law. They understand marriage equality will deliver social justice, and will not mean the end of civil society as predicted by fear-mongering opponents.
Meanwhile, vocal opponents of marriage equality are also gearing up. The newly formed, Catholic Church linked, Marriage Alliance is running a TV campaign on Foxtel and Channel 9.
Australian Marriage Forum, which is an offshoot of the controversial Australian Christian Lobby, also returned to the fray following its TV campaign earlier this year timed to coincide with the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras. This time with a full-page newspaper ad, pretty much pushing the same old arguments against same-sex marriage as Marriage Alliance and other conservative opponents. Arguments that have been long destroyed in Australia, and across the world.
Make no mistake, this is no longer a debate of ideas – the debate has been over for quite a while.
This has now become a war of attrition. And that’s why I am grateful for the tireless work of Australian Marriage Equality, for their seemingly endless energy, patience and perseverance fighting for what’s right, what’s our right.
To finish on a positive note, here is Matt Spangher, who plays for Hawthorn in the AFL, explaining why he supports marriage equality: