Fourth marriage equality bill introduced
Marriage equality advocates have called on federal politicians to work together to achieve same-sex marriage reforms after a fourth bill calling for marriage equality was introduced into Parliament today.
Labor Senators Louise Pratt, Gavin Marshall, Carol Brown and Trish Crossin introduced the private members bill this morning calling for same-sex marriages to be made legal.
It is the second private members bill on the issue, with Labor MP Stephen Jones previously also introducing one.
The introduction of the bill means that there are now four marriage equality bills before Parliament.
Debate will also start later today on a marriage equality bill tabled by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young (pictured).
Australian Marriage Equality national convener, Alex Greenwich, welcomed the beginning of the marriage equality debate in the Senate but cautioned that reform would only occur when supporters worked together.
“We believe the Senate is the right place for the marriage equality debate to advance because it has some of the parliament's strongest advocates and has conducted the most comprehensive and supportive inquiries,” Greenwich said.
“However, we are concerned that there are now two competing marriage equality bills before the Senate, because the overseas experience shows when marriage equality supporters don't cooperate the reform is much harder to achieve.”
Hanson-Young meanwhile called on the likes of Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to lend their support to the reform.
“The Inquiry into my Bill, which was supported by all parties, strongly recommended that the federal marriage laws need to be changed to end the current discrimination against same-sex couples,” she said.
“Support for marriage equality is growing in the Senate and it is now time for Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott to get on the right side of history and join the national chorus for marriage equality.”