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(http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-12-03/labor-votes-for-conscience-vote-on-same-sex-marriage/3710828)
ADVOCATES WELCOME SENATE REPORT AS “HISTORIC TURNING POINT” IN MARRIAGE EQUALITY DEBATE

in AUSTRALIA, 29/06/2012

Marriage equality advocates have welcomed a cross-party Senate committee recommendation that there be a conscience vote on marriage equality and calling on the Senate to pass legislation to allow same-sex couples to marry. The committee received over 46,000 pro-marriage equality submissions, making up nearly 60% of all submissions received.

Australian Marriage Equality National convener, Alex Greenwich, said this was the first time that a federal parliamentary committee had given its unequivocal endorsement for marriage equality:

“This is a watershed moment in the marriage equality debate because Coalition, Labor and Greens members of the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee have joined forces to help progress a reform a majority of Australians want,” Mr Greenwich said.

Mr Greenwich said the fact that Coalition Senators endorsed the recommendation added pressure on Tony Abbott to grant a conscience vote.

“This report has given voice to the very powerful conservative case for same-sex marriage, and has also called on Mr Abbott to allow members of the Coalition the opportunity to vote for reform and express their support for marriage equality as conservatives.”

This week sees a range of groups lobbying for marriage equality at Parliament House, including Clergy for Marriage Equality, Doctors for Marriage Equality, and Psychologists for Marriage Equality.

According to spokesperson for Doctors for Marriage Equality, Dr Amanda Villis, This is our first visit to Parliament House as representatives of over 1000 doctors and medical students, and we are heartened that the MPs and Senators we have met with have been open to our message that marriage equality will improve the health and wellbeing of many Australians.”

Professor the Rev Gary Bouma from Clergy for Marriage Equality said, “We seek marriage equality to promote the ideal of committed, monogamous relationships, particularly among young people, gay or straight, as good for them, for society and for the family.”

For more information contact Alex Greenwich on 0421 316 335, Rev Bouma on 0409 234 960, and Dr Villis on 0431 551 755.

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