Strong LGBTI supporters announced in new Senate
The Australian Electoral Commission has announced the results for the new Senate, which will take power from July 1 2014. With all bar WA announced (currently subject to a recount) it appears the balance of power will be held by several independent senators including pro marriage equality independent, Senator Nick Xenophon. Xenophon was one of six senators appointed for SA on October 2.
Openly gay ALP Senator Penny Wong has also retained her seat in the South Australian Senate, as has straight ally and long-time campaigner for marriage equality, Sarah Hanson Young (Greens) and Liberal marriage equality advocate, Senator Simon Birmingham.
In NSW the future of marriage equality looks a little brighter too, with pro marriage equality Senators Bob Carr and Doug Cameron securing senate seats. Other pro marriage equality senators to retain their seats include Queensland ALP Senator Claire Moore and Greens Victorian Senator Janet Rice.
Justin Koonin co-convenor of NSW GLRL commented on the make-up of the new senate saying, “We are confident that LGBTI issues will get a good hearing in the new senate, and hope that in the near future all MPs will be granted a conscience vote on marriage equality."
Koonin says NSW GLRL “look forward to working with the recently-elected Senators from New South Wales. Doug Cameron, Bob Carr and Marise Payne have all been strong supporters of the LGBTI community.”
Sydney Independent MP and Australian Marriage Equality Chairman Alex Greenwich is also heartened by the make-up of the new senate.
"The new senate looks encouraging for the LGBTI community, with most of our strongest supporters re-elected, and new senators giving us positive signs."