Advocates mark 10 year anniversary of same-sex marriage ban
It’s ten years today since the Senate passed into legislation the definition of marriage as being exclusively between a man and a woman.
A decade on, the NSW Gay and Lesbian rights Lobby (NSW GLRL) and Australian Marriage Equality (AME) are continuing to apply pressure to push for the end of this legislative inequality which relegates the nation’s LGBTI people to the status of second class citizens - but both groups say reform is slow.
NSW GLRL convenor, Justin Koonin said ten years on the law continues to have a discriminatory and negative impact on LGBTI-inclusive relationships around the country.
Koonin said: “The NSW GLRL will continue to advocate for full marriage equality at a federal level in Australia and we hope that Senators and MPs will use this anniversary to consult their constituents, and determine to do what is right, on this critical issue of equality before the law in Australia.”
With support for marriage equality at an all time high, Australian Marriage Equality national director Rodney Croome said the tenth anniversary of the ban on same-sex marriage should serve as inspiration to supporters to redouble their efforts for reform.
"Since 2004 public support for marriage equality has increased from 38% to 72%, more MPs than ever before support the reform and the number of countries that allow same-sex marriages has increased from three to almost twenty," Croome said.
Croome said there have been many sad moments as same-sex couples waited for equality.
“Partners who wished to marry have died, couples who wanted to marry at home have been forced overseas to wed, and too many parliamentary votes have failed because MPs were forced to vote along party lines.
"But each time our resolve to continue the marriage equality has been strengthened and we will not pause until Australia rejoins the company of nations that treats all loving couples equally," Croome said.
Marriage Equality rallies will be held throughout Australia this weekend, including in Melbourne on the August 16 from 1pm at State Library of Victoria and in Sydney at Town Hall from 1pm.