Last week Deputy Leader of the Australian Labor Party Tanya Plibersek sent a letter to all Coalition MPs asking for support of her party’s bill allowing same-sex marriage.
The list of federal LNP MPs and senators who have voiced their public support for marriage equality isn’t exactly long. In fact, it includes only six people.
1. Malcolm Turnbull
Last December, the Minister for Communications and Federal Member for Wentworth told Sky News, ‘‘If a free vote is allowed I will certainly vote in favour of a marriage equality bill.’’
2. Kelly O’Dwyer
This time last year the Federal Member for Higgins was taking the parliamentary floor to declare her support for marriage equality. In it she discussed her own family - which is split on the issue - and affirmed her commitment to the family institution, which she says “come in all shapes and sizes.”
3. Teresa Gambaro
In August of last year, the Federal Member for Brisbane noted on her website her support for marriage equality. She credits that decision to the many citizens of her electorate who reached out to her on this issue.
4. Wyatt Roy
Wyatt Roy is Federal Member for Longman and at only 23 years of age, may be a sign of what’s to come in the Australian conservative movement. Last May Roy announced his support for same-sex marriage.
5. Sue Boyce
Last June the Liberal-National Senator for Queensland went against her party to cross the floor in support of a bill recognising overseas same-sex marriages. A bill that was, unfortunately and overwhelmingly, voted down.
6. Simon Birmingham
The Liberal Senator for South Australia was one of the first to break ranks, coming out (so to speak) in 2010 to support marriage equality. He said at the time that there is an “inevitability” to the recognition of same-sex relationships.
Sadly, as it stands, this list is going to have to get a lot longer before Australia sees marriage equality reflected in our laws.
The GOOD NEWS is that there’s an easy way to find out where your MP stands, and to tell them what you think.
Simply head to the “Where Your MP Stands On Marriage Equality” site, type in your postcode, and your MP and their view on marriage equality will appear. Along with an email petition and your MP’s contact details.
Marriage equality is happening, slowly but surely, all around the world.
And what seems progressive now, will seem obvious later.
Remember that time we waited until 1965 before giving all Indigenous people the same voting rights as other Australians?