Senate notice on marriage equality

Senator Louise Pratt said today that she was “very pleased to have given notice, along with Labor Senators Crossin, Marshall and Brown, that we will introduce the Marriage Amendment Bill into the Senate.

The Labor Senators’ Marriage Amendment Bill 2012 will be introduced into the Senate in the week commencing 17 September 2012.

“It is important that the debate, begun by Labor’s Stephen Jones in the House of Representatives, be also brought to the Senate and that the Government facilitate time for this debate.

“It is therefore appropriate that Government is working to facilitate debate of this Bill in the Senate in Government Business time.

“The Government will also be seeking extended sitting hours in order to complete consideration of the Bill that week.

“Two out of three Australians support marriage equality - and four out five Australians believe we should not oppose it,” Senator Pratt said.

“Australians respect the fact that not everyone can support marriage equality. But the desire not to oppose it reflects the great tradition of giving others a fair go. It’s clear that Australians don’t want our Parliament to oppose this reform.

“The majority of Labor members in the Australian Parliament accord with these views. There are also a great many Coalition MPs and Senators do as well.

“In a more open and transparent environment a large number of Coalition members would be free to express their views,” Senator Pratt said.

Labor MPs in both the Senate and the House of Representatives will have a conscience vote on the bills.

Media contact:  Senator Pratt’s office 0417 175 220, 08 9225 4411