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Australian Marriage Equality and Australians for Equality today welcomed the decision by Labor to block the proposed plebiscite, while at the same time welcoming the historic first Marriage Amendment Bill by an Australian Government.

“It is important that if the plebiscite is not happening, we shut the door on it this week and focus on a legislative pathway forward from next week,” Alex Greenwich, Co-Chair, Australian Marriage Equality said.

“Stopping the plebiscite will not achieve marriage equality, nor will it stop the negative campaign from marriage equality opponents. The Senate must be allowed to vote it down this week so the Parliament can focus on a legislative pathway forward.

“We will continue to work with our supporters in all parties to advocate that this is a straightforward reform that can be achieved by a parliamentary vote by the end of the year,” Mr Greenwich said.

Co-Chair of Australians for Equality, Anna Brown said despite the deeply concerning expansion of religious exemptions proposed, it was important to recognise this was the first time an Australian Government proposed legislation on changes to the Marriage Act.

“The legislation is by no means perfect nor is it a final government position, but we now have a starting point to reinvigorate conversations with all Parliamentarians.

“While the plebiscite is likely to be blocked, the historic importance of Australia’s first Government legislation to change the Marriage Act to enable all Australians to marry should not be understated.

“We have concerns with aspects of this Bill and will raise these issues with the Parliament over the coming weeks.

“We will continue to advocate that any proposed legislation designed to achieving marriage equality are in the best interest of the LGBTI community,” Anna Brown concluded.

For all media inquiries contact: Clint McGilvray 0413 285 186 – Michael Fairbairn 0448 524 731