History is made as Australia says YES to marriage equality

History is made as Australia says YES to marriage equality

The Australian Parliament has today made marriage equality a reality for all Australians. The Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill has passed the Lower House following a week of debate.

Anna Brown, Director of Legal Advocacy at the Human Rights Law Centre and Co-Chair of the Equality Campaign, said this was a great win for equality.

“This is a historic day for the LGBTI community. A day where we saw equality, fairness and love win. A day when LGBTI couples in Australia were finally treated with the same dignity and respect when it comes to who they love. There will be joy and celebration in the new year as LGBTI couples all over Australia stand in front of their friends and families and say ‘I do’,” said Ms Brown.

The Human Rights Law Centre were proud to play a pivotal role in ensuring the passage of the legislation to deliver marriage equality.

Lee Carnie, Lawyer with the Human Rights Law Centre, said it was a day of celebration for all who worked towards removing this discrimination against LGBTI Australians.

“This victory is the culmination of more than a decade’s work by supporters of equality. Each and every person who has campaigned for equality, each Australian that stood up and voted yes, and, today, every member of Parliament from every major political party that voted in favour of equality, fairness and love,” said Lee Carnie.

During the debate in the House of Representatives a raft of amendments were proposed which would have wound back existing discrimination protections for LGBTI Australians. The Bill passed unchanged.

“LGBTI members from all major parties lead the charge on this debate. Our supporters in Parliament stared down efforts by religious conservatives to introduce new forms of discrimination against LGBTI people. When Australia voted yes, it was a yes for true equality for all Australians and not a licence to increase discrimination,” said Ms Brown.

“The world was watching our Parliament closely today. This day will be remembered as the day when Parliament said to LGBTI people that their love and relationships are not lesser than anyone else's. The LGBTI community has a long history of asserting and protecting our rights with resilience, and pride. From Stonewall, to Mardi Gras, today can now be added to the list of times when our community changed history,” said Ms Brown.

For interviews or further information please call:

Michelle Bennett, Director of Communications, Human Rights Law Centre, 0419 100 519