Marriage equality debate in Senate

Senate debate on Labor’s Marriage Amendment Bill 2012 has moved one step closer with the tabling of legislation today.  Labor Senators Crossin, Pratt, Marshall and Brown introduced a bill to amend the Marriage Act 1961 to remove discrimination against same-sex couples who wish to marry.

Senator Louise Pratt said “it is important the Senate gets to debate this bill because the community has called for parliamentarians to act now to amend this legislation.

“Two in three people in our community support marriage equality, so the support for change is there.

“It is simply a matter of equality for all people”, Senator Pratt said.

Senator Pratt has called on the Coalition opposition to allow its members to have a free vote on the legislation.

“When debate commences in the Senate next week, I would hope that all Senators have the opportunity to vote the way their conscience dictates.

“We know there is support for the bill amongst Coalition Senators.  We hope that, like their Labor colleagues, they get the chance to express this support through a free vote”, Senator Pratt said.

“We also know that eighty percent of Australians want the Coalition to have a conscience vote on this matter ,” Senator Pratt said.

“It is clear that most Australians want this legislation.  Let’s debate this important amendment in an open and fair way and give all Senators a say.

Debate on the Marriage Act Amendment 2012 will commence in the Australian Senate on 17 September 2012.

Media contact:  Senator Pratt’s office 08 9225 4411