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Leading advocates for marriage equality say a new book, published today, is the most comprehensive and insightful yet written on the reform in Australia.

The book, titled Marriage Equality For All Australians: Guaranteeing Security and Certainty for Everyone, is by ​ former Liberal Senator, Chris Puplick AM, and senior policy advisor to the Sydney Lord Mayor, Larry Galbraith.

The book ​deals in depth with all of the issues raised by marriage equality and arrives at the conclusion that a conscience vote should be allowed and the reform passed.

Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome, said,

“This book provides the most comprehensive case for marriage equality that has ever been put forward in Australia, and is one of the most valuable contributions to the marriage equality debate that has yet occurred.”

“I urge anyone interested in marriage equality, including supporters of the reform, to read and absorb what Chris Puplick and Larry Galbraith have written to increase their awareness of the issues.”

MP for Sydney and former AME convener, Alex Greenwich, said,

“Chris and Larry have always been strong proponents of legal equality and advocates against discrimination.”

“This book explains why they hold so steadfastly to these principles and will convince many other Australians to do the same.”

The book can be downloaded by clicking here or on the following link:

http://www.australianmarriageequality.org/marriage-equality-of-all-australians-guaranteeing-security-and-certainty-for-everyone-by-chris-puplick-am-and-larry-galbraith/

Enclosed below is further information about the book as well as quotes from Chris Puplick and Larry Galbraith.

For further comment call Rodney Croome on 0409 010 668 or Alex Greenwich on 0458 042 342.

Marriage Equality for All Australians presents the case for allowing same-sex couples to marry in Australia and for the recognition of same-sex marriages solemnised overseas. It is the most comprehensive document on this subject published in Australia and makes a major contribution to the public discourse on this significant social and legal issue.

It calls for ending significant legislated discrimination against same-sex couples in committed loving relationships. In Australia, qualified heterosexual couples can marry. Same-sex couples cannot.

Chris Puplick and Larry Galbraith present detailed evidence and argument in support of this change. They outline the changing nature of Australian society and attitudes towards marriage and same-sex relationships which suggest such a change is overdue; they dissect the arguments against same-sex marriage and provide evidence which suggest that the opponents of same-sex marriage no longer represent the broad Australian community; and they examine various alternatives to allowing same-sex couples to marry and find them wanting.

Marriage Equality for All Australians additionally provides a detailed analysis and overview of international developments, covering recent changes in the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States of America, including the most recent US Federal Court decisions overturning laws banning same-sex marriage in Oregon and Pennsylvania. Attempts at achieving same-sex marriage at the State and Territory level are also covered.

Their book also traces the history of conscience votes in the Commonwealth Parliament, noting that these have generally been allowed on matters involving the personal aspects of our lives and, with one notable exception, always on matters of marriage and family law.

Commenting on the release of Marriage Equality for All Australians, Chris Puplick called on members of the current federal parliament to show courage and leadership on the issue.

“As a former Senator I know the pressures placed on parliamentarians to resist social change and adhere to the safety and security of the past, especially if this is made a matter of Party discipline.

“On the issue of same-sex marriage that time is past. Society moves forward in the gradual elimination of discrimination and the recognition of the inherent rights, dignity and responsibility of each individual. Nations which share our closest ethical, religious and value systems and traditions – Great Britain, New Zealand, Canada and most of the United States; together with the great democracies of Western Europe and Latin America – have already moved in this direction.

“Contemporary social attitudes, combined with political leadership have come to recognise and accept that the important institution of marriage is strengthened by making it open to all loving couples who wish to share their lives and responsibilities together. Australia was once a proud world leader in advancing social justice and equality. When it comes to same-sex marriage this is no longer the case. It is time to reassert the great traditional Australian values of equality, respect, tolerance and acceptance. The time to recognise the equality of same-sex couples is upon us – it is now.”

Co-author Larry Galbraith said:

“I have recognised the need for effective legal recognition of same-sex relationships for 30 years. As a journalist working in the gay media in the 1980s I wrote about attempts by same-sex couples to have their relationships recognised by their employers, government agencies and other bodies.

“In the 1990s I worked on alternative proposals for legal recognition at a time when marriage for same-sex couples seemed like an impossible dream. The rapid movement towards marriage equality in many countries similar to Australia shows this is no longer a dream, it is a reality, and it should become the reality for Australians.

“We hope Marriage Equality for All Australians will be a useful contribution to the debate on this important issue and a resource which people can draw on to support their own arguments for same-sex marriage. if it promotes greater understanding of the issue and an appreciation of why this change must be made, we will have achieved our goal.”

AUTHORS

Christopher J Puplick AM, BA (Hons), MA, JP

Former Liberal Senator for New South Wales, Shadow Minister for Environment, Arts & Heritage, and Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate. Former New South Wales Anti-Discrimination and Privacy Commissioner. Former Chair: Australian National Council on AIDS, Hepatitis C and Related Diseases; AIDS Trust of Australia; National Film and Sound Archives of Australia; Central Sydney Area Health Service; and National Taskforce on Whaling. Current: Principal, Issus Solutions P/L.; Chair of the Board of Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Service (NSW). Awarded membership of the Order of Australia “For services to protection of human rights and access to social justice, and to community health through advocacy and support in HIV/AIDS.”

LARRY GALBRAITH BA, Grad Dip Arts

Former Editor, Sydney Star Observer, Campaign and Associate Editor, Outrage. Advisor to Clover Moore MP on the legal recognition of same-sex relationships and co-drafter of the Significant Personal Relationships Bill 1997 (NSW). Currently Policy Officer in the Office of the Lord Mayor of Sydney.

The Authors note that this document is prepared in their personal capacities only and does not purport to reflect anything other than their personal opinions.

Marriage Equality for All Australians draws extensively on the authors’ submissions to the 2012 inquiry by the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee: Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2010 (June 2012) (Submission 193 at http://bit.ly/1n9bbRu) and the 2013 inquiry by the NSW Legislative Council Standing Committee on Social Issues: Same-sex Marriage Laws in NSW (Report 47, July 2013) (Submission 1257 at http://bit.ly/1g8L1st).

Contact: The authors may be contacted at marequ2014@yahoo.com.au

Author: Rodney Croome
Publication: AME Media Release
Date 23 June 2014