Today's report back of Members of Parliament on marriage equality provided a rare opportunity for the community to have its voice heard on this important reform, the Australian Greens say.
"Today we heard from Members of Parliament from across the political divide," the Greens' marriage equality spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, said today.
"Many have spent considerable time engaging with their electorates in the past year and they should be commended for their participation in the process.
"For some Members of Parliament, this will be the first time they have actively sought the views of their electors on this topic - and that's a breakthrough.
"In particular, it was refreshing to see Members of Parliament like Malcolm Turnbull, Graham Perrett and Rob Oakeshott confronting some of the mistruths and distortions that have all too often characterised this debate. Same-sex marriage is in no way intended to replace heterosexual marriage and will not compromise heterosexual relationships at all.
"Some Members of Parliament floated civil unions as an alternative to marriage. Civil unions are no substitute for marriage. They are simply being advanced in order to appease those who consider same-sex relationships are not worthy of the same legal and social recognition as heterosexual relationships. This will not satisfy the majority of Australians who want genuine equality for same-sex attracted people.
"Today is another important step in the campaign for equality. This is not a gay rights issue, it is a human rights issue and it is finally being given the attention it deserves in the Federal Parliament."