MARRIAGE equality advocates have hailed a motion passed by the ACT Legislative Assembly calling on the Federal Parliament to allow same-sex marriages.
The motion is the second of its kind in Australia with a similar motion being passed by the Tasmanian Parliament in September.
The ACT motion went a step further by affirming that religious celebrants will not be forced to marry same-sex couples and calling on the federal Coalition to allow a conscience vote on the issue.
Australian Marriage Equality national convener, Alex Greenwich, said the motion sends a strong message to the federal parliament that marriage equality is an important and urgent issue.
“Our hope is that other State and Territory parliaments will follow the lead of the A.C.T. and Tasmania, thereby amplifying an already powerful message about the importance of this reform”, Mr Greenwich said.
Deputy Chief Minister Andrew Barr said: “Marriage equality is not only a human rights issue; but follows in a long line of important social justice reforms made by Labor Governments throughout Australian history, reforms brought about by collective action from the Labor Party. We are at our best as a political party when we work together to make our country a fairer and more inclusive place.”
ACT Greens spokesperson Shane Rattenbury said: “Because of the growing support I believe we are beyond the point where the question is whether we will have marriage equality. The question now is when it will occur and I hope our motion today helps to make it sooner rather than later”.