How the 2013 election will move marriage equality forward
Marriage equality will figure prominently in the 2013 election campaign.
Thanks to several years of high profile community debate, marriage equality is already one of the key social issues in modern Australia.
Reform not only has high public support (just under 65%), but support is growing stronger, especially among young voters for whom the issue is emblematic of a better Australia.
Adding to this is the likelihood of reform in France, Britain and New Zealand in the next few months, increasing pressure on Australia to follow.
We’re also likely to see at least one state or territory allow legal same-sex marriages before the federal poll in September.
The job of supporters of marriage equality is to ensure the issue’s profile helps move the nation closer to reform.
This means securing a Coalition conscience vote by targeting the electorates of those Liberal MPs who should vote for marriage equality but can’t.
It also means encouraging more Labor MPs to vote for marriage equality by targeting the electorates of those Labor members who can vote for it but haven’t.
To achieve both these goals Australian Marriage Equality will be working with local groups in areas where there is high support for marriage equality.
I have already met locals in the Liberal and Labor-held seats in Melbourne and Brisbane, with more meetings to come in other cities.
The people I’ve met are keen to do all they can to ensure their local member can and will vote for marriage equality regardless of who wins government on September 14th.
AME hasn’t forgotten marriage equality supporters outside these seats.
We have begun surveying all candidates, and will present the results of our survey on a new 2103 marriage equality election website soon to be unveiled.
The 2012 US election showed that marriage equality is a vote winner for those who support it and a loser for those against.
I am confident the 2013 Australian election will do the same.
But this will only happen if supporters join together to ensure marriage equality is a touchstone issue in their local area.