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(http://catefaehrmann.org/2012/05/nsw-parliament-to-debate-marriage-equality/)
Historic win: NSW passes motion calling on Commonwealth to enact marriage equality

in AUSTRALIA, 02/06/2012

Greens MP Cate Faehrmann's motion in support of marriage equality today passed the NSW Legislative Council. The House has called on the Commonwealth to enact marriage equality. A conscience vote was provided to Coalition and Labor party MPs, and the final vote was 22 to 16.

"This is a great day. I congratulate my NSW Upper House colleagues for their leadership. Today we are on the right side of history," said Ms Faehrmann.

"Denying anyone the right to marry who they love is ludicrous. It’s last century and it’s time our Federal Parliament caught up. The NSW Legislative Council, Australia's oldest House of Parliament, has shown great leadership in sending this clear message to the Commonwealth today.

"For the first time MPs from all major parties have joined together to vote in favour of marriage equality.

"Yes, this was a symbolic motion, but it is immensely significant. Today we have given voice to the majority of NSW citizens who don't want our marriage laws to discriminate.

"Every single step towards full equality is to be welcomed and congratulated enthusiastically. I want to thank all of my colleagues who supported the motion, and acknowledge that for many, this was a very difficult motion to contend with.

"In the end, the arguments against marriage equality are based on personal and religious beliefs that have no place in our civil marriage laws. It's time for full equality and the NSW Upper House has made that clear," said Ms Faehrmann.

Media contact: Peter Stahel 0433 005 727

The successful motion (as amended) read as follows:

That this House:

(a) supports marriage equality

(b) calls on the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia to amend the Commonwealth Marriage Act 1961 to provide for marriage equality.

(c) notes that Article 18 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides that everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance",

(d) calls on all participants in the debate on marriage equality to treat those with differing views with respect, dignity and tolerance, and

(e) calls for any amendment to the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth) to ensure that religious institutions are not forced to solemnise marriages they do not wish to.

Media contact: Peter Stahel 0433 005 727

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