NSW GLRL welcomes new Federal Parliament, calls for a free vote on marriage equality

This federal election NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby (NSWGLRL) called on all parties to make a commitment to end discrimination and harassment against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) Australians.

We congratulate all Members of Parliament on their appointments and welcome the thirty-nine new sitting members to crucial portfolios across Australia.

“There are a broad range of issues, highlighted in our Rainbow Votes election campaign, that don’t get the attention they deserve. Issues that over the next term of Parliament will affect our communities for many years to come. Issues that we intend to continue open and strong dialogue on in the pursuit for equal rights” informed Co-convenor Chris Pycroft.

NSWGLRL recognises that marriage equality is of key concern not only to our members, but also to those constituents of NSW who have loved ones in committed relationships wishing to get married. We urge all members of the new Parliament to consider voting in favour of any bill that would remove the discriminatory provisions and allow all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, to get married.

Co-convenor Lauren Foy highlights “marriage equality is an issue of human rights. Marriage reforms are essential to uphold the human rights of sexual and gender minorities. Australia has ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights that expressly provides for equality before the law and right to non-discrimination. In recent history, marriage reforms, through the lens of non-discrimination, have secured the legitimacy of interracial unions and furthered the agency of women in marital relationships. In the context of evolving norms then, the Marriage Act 1961 should be amended to define marriage as the ‘union of two people’ irrespective of sex, sexual orientation and gender identity.

NSWGLRL has extended invitations and welcome opportunities to meet with our elected NSW parliamentarians to discuss this, and a range of other policy issues to progress substantive legislative and social equality for LGBTI people.