One hundred religious leaders in Australia have signed a petition calling on the federal government to allow same sex marriage.
Archdeacon Fr Peter MacLeod-Miller, Rev Angus McLeay and Rev Dr Margaret Mayman handed the letter to the MPs co-sponsoring the cross-party marriage equality bill.
For a room full of MPs from warring parties, there was a lot of love in the room. Labor's Terri Butler hugged government backbencher Warren Entsch.
Australian Marriage Equality's deputy director Ivan Hinton-Teoh hugged his mum.
And Australian Marriage Equality director Rodney Croome hugged Warren Entsch.
Uniting Church Minister Dr Margaret Mayman prayed for politicians.
Anglican Reverend Angus McLeay *said* many Christians who support marriage equality felt like they were being dragged in to the wrong side of the debate.
Father MacLeod-Miller, an Anglican leader from the regional NSW city of Albury, spoke about how the issue was linked to youth suicide in his local area.
Entsch promised to lead the marriage equality movement in parliament, and said he would introduce the cross-party bill on Monday, but that it wouldn't go to a vote.
Father MacLeod-Miller told BuzzFeed News that it was a shame that the government was treating the issue like it was not important. "It's a life and death matter. Of course it is," he said.
With the coalition government announcing that it wants the decision to be put to the people in a plebiscite, marriage campaigners are now pivoting tactics, hoping to get a national vote as soon as possible.
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Alexandra Lee is a politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney, Australia.
Contact Alex Lee at email@example.com.
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