Australian Marriage Equality today said support for marriage equality has almost doubled across the nation since the 2004 decision by the Australian Government to exclude LGBT Australians from marrying.

It has been twelve years since the Australian Government changed the Marriage Act blocking LGBT Australians from marrying. In this time support for marriage equality has reached record highs with 72% of Australians now backing equality.

“Twelve years on it’s clear, the Australian people believe everyone should have the same opportunities in life including being able to marry”, Australian Marriage Equality National Spokesperson, Shirleene Robinson said.

“Australian couples have waited far too long to celebrate their relationships and their commitments in the country that they love and in front of the people they love.

“In 2016, more than one billion people live in countries with marriage equality and it’s time Australia joins them,” Dr Robinson said.

Since the Howard government changes, public support for marriage equality has increased. A 2014 poll conducted by Crosby Textor showed an overwhelming 72% of Australians supported this reform, up from 38% in 2004.

“We have seen this public support for marriage equality reflected in local councils, at the state level and through almost 1000 organisations across the nation who have proclaimed their support for equality”, Dr Robinson said.

“It is sad that so many loving Australian couples have had to marry overseas away from the family and friends who love and support them”, Dr Robinson said.

While Australians continue to wait for the Federal Parliament to take action, all other developed countries in the British-speaking world have introduced marriage equality. Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom have all introduced this reform through their parliamentary process.

“We urge Australian Federal politicians to follow the example of these countries and rather than holding an unnecessary plebiscite.

“By working together, Federal parliamentarians have the ability to introduce a reform that would recognise the relationships of loving couples and bring happiness and recognition to many Australians and their families.

“It’s a simple issue of fairness and equality giving every Australian a seat at the table. We need to do this for same sex couples, their families and their friends”, Dr Robinson concluded.

Media: Clint McGilvray 0413 285 186