Australian Marriage Equality spokesperson Dr Shirleene Robinson delivered an upbeat and positive speech to a large crowd at Brisbane’s annual Pride Day Festival on Saturday.
“I’m originally from Queensland and I know that whatever the path ahead to marriage equality, this state will be critical to the success of our movement,” Dr Robinson said.
“We have been fighting for this for some time and I’m sure at times we have all felt fatigue. But I can tell you that the movement for marriage equality in this country has never been larger, more organised or more determined than it is right now at this very historic moment.
“Earlier this week, we were presented with an unacceptable proposal for a plebiscite, a public vote on our relationships. Members of the LGBTIQ community should never be subjected to a national debate on the very worth of our relationships,” Dr Robinson said.
Dr Robinson said the proposed plebiscite failed to show what changes would be made to the Marriage Act if the ‘Yes’ vote was successful in a public vote.
“The proposed legislation itself was problematic and doesn’t show us the marriage equality legislation changes that would happen. It is also unfair because the bill creates an uneven playing field because many ‘No’ opponents of equality have access to a range of tax benefits and concessions, which few LGBTI organisations have access too,” Dr Robinson said.
“The proposal also has no ‘truth-in-advertising test, and will be seen as an endorsement by the Australian Government in a campaign which we know will be an amplified and aggressive campaign against other Australians.
“Our relationships, future happiness, and security should never be used for political point scoring. Making a solemn commitment to building a secure future with your partner, in front of your family and friends should be publicly celebrated.
“Two thirds of the Australian people, a majority of both Houses of Parliament, and leaders of all major political parties support this reform.
“We call on all political leaders to come together to work on a free vote and to achieve equality in this term. We have waited far too long already.
“We are a strong community and we will achieve marriage equality by doing what we do so well. We point out the human stories that are at the heart of this reform and campaigning for a fair go, justice and love,” Dr Robinson concluded.
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