Greens call on Weatherill for greater marriage support
The Greens have challenged South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill to act on his support for marriage equality by formally backing the current South Australian Greens marriage equality bill.
Greens’ federal human rights spokesperson Sarah Hanson-Young said it’s time for the Premier to follow the steps made by the Tasmanian Premier in supporting same-sex marriage.
“We have a Greens bill before the parliament here in South Australia, Tammy Franks’ bill, we now need to see the Premier back that bill and commit to sending it to the government solicitors to make sure it’s all A-OK and we can get on with having the debate and having the vote,” she said.
“It’s an important step for South Australians. We have more support in South Australia for marriage equality than any other state across the country. It’s an issue South Australians are particularly passionate about.
“We have couples here who desperately want to get married in the state they love, in the country they love and to have that love recognised in law. This weekend we are calling on Jay Weatherill to come forward, back the Greens’ bill and work out a plan for getting the bill passed.”
South Australian Greens MLC Tammy Franks said her bill is before the Upper House and is ready to be voted on.
“We could move that at anytime. We will of course wait until the Federal bill is put up. If that fails we are willing to put that bill up for a vote in the spring session and we are pretty confident that it would actually get through the Upper House,” she said.
“I’d like to see the government and the Liberal Party come to support the bill. Both sides have a conscience vote already so we’re already ahead of the Federal Parliament in that respect and we could have marriage equality in this state by next year.”
Hanson-Young added the neither the Prime Minister nor Federal Opposition Leader are leading the way for marriage equality.
“We’ve obviously seen in the last week or so Tasmania move towards backing a Greens’ bill before the State Parliament there, we know we have bills before the Federal Parliament but we have a Leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott, who’s blocking his members from having the right to vote on this bill how they see fit,” she said.
“We have a Prime Minister who is refusing to stand by her own party policy. Neither the Prime Minister nor Mr Abbott are showing leadership on this issue and while they remain stuck in the past on the wrong side of history, we have the opportunity here in South Australia to move with the times and give same-sex couples here in South Australia a step forward to marriage equality.”
Premier Weatherill is expected to be one of the speakers at tomorrow’s Equal Love rally in Adelaide which starts at 1pm on the steps of Parliament House.
Other prominent politicians addressing Equal Love rallies across Australia include Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings, Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore, Federal Member for Melbourne Adam Bandt and Labor Senator for Western Australia Louise Pratt.
Pictured: Sarah Hanson-Young (L) and Tammy Franks (R) with same-sex couple Alessandro and Adrian. Photo: Alex Dunkin