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ADVOCATES HAIL "LANDSLIDE SUPPORT" FOR SENATE MARRIAGE EQUALITY INQUIRY

in AUSTRALIA, 03/04/2012

Advocates say at least 45,000 Australians have sent submissions to a Senate inquiry into a Bill allowing same-sex marriages, making it the most strongly supported Bill in the nation's history.

Australian Marriage Equality national convener, Alex Greenwich, said the submissions reflect the diversity of Australian society.

"There are compelling and detailed submissions from Liberal and Labor MPs, from State Premiers past and present, from small businesses, from mental
health and legal organisations, from gay couples and their families and from many people of faith", Mr Greenwich said.

"There are also submissions from tens of thousands of ordinary heterosexual Australians for whom this issue has became a symbol of their aspiration for
a fair and tolerant Australia where all couples and families are treated equally."

"What we have seen is a landslide of support not just for marriage equality but for a better Australia."

Mr Greenwich said that in advance of the submission deadline of 5pm today, 28,000 submissions had been made through his organisation's website and
17,000 through the website of activist organisation, Get Up! A large number of pro-equality submissions have also been sent directly to committee.

This is almost four times more than the pro-equality submissions received by the 2009 Senate marriage equality inquiry, and four times more than the
overall number of submissions to the next largest inquiry, into the Northern Territory Euthanasia Bill in 1997.

Mr. Greenwich said the number of submissions shows how engaged Australians have become on the issue.

"The number of submissions proves that active support for marriage equality has grown exponentially over the past few years."

"Australians don't just support marriage equality, they support it passionately."

Pro-equality submissions have been received from NSW Nationals MLC, Trevor Khan, former NSW Labor Premier, Kristina Keneally, Wallabies rugby star, David Pocock, Screen Writer and Director, Stephan Elliot, Professor Kerryn Phelps, Justice Michael Kirby, Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore, and Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings.

A number of prominent organisations have also made pro-equality submission including The Australian Psychological Association, Headspace youth mental health organisation, The Australian Medical Students Association, The Australian Human Rights Commission, Amnesty International, various legal centres and a number of clergy including the dean of St John's Anglican Cathedral in Brisbane, the Very Reverend Dr Peter Catt.

Mr Greenwich paid tribute to all those advocates who have encouraged submissions, including the national spokesperson for Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, Mr Shelley Argent OAM, who travelled to all mainland state capitals ahead of today's deadline encouraging parents and families of gays and lesbians to send in submissions.

For more information contact Alex Greenwich on 0421 316 335.

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