The Greens' marriage equality bill has today been referred to a Senate inquiry, giving all Australians the chance to have their say on removing discrimination from the Marriage Act.
"This is a great moment for everyone who wants to see same-sex Australian couples have the same rights as heterosexual couples," Greens' marriage equality spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said.
"The Greens thank the MPs from both sides of parliament who have agreed an inquiry is needed help those undecided MPs learn first-hand why the law needs changing.
"We look forward to hearing all views about our Marriage (Equality) Amendment Bill 2010. It's our hope that hearing after directly from same-sex couples, their friends and families, there will be enough support from both major parties for a conscience vote on changing the law.
"The Greens applaud the ongoing, tireless support of advocates including Australian Marriage Equality and Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, whose members continue lobbying undecided MPs.
"The inquiry will hear what has happened in other countries that now celebrate equal love, including Canada and South Africa. The sky has not collapsed above those countries with marriage equality, nor will it happen here. I'm optimistic that we can make these reforms happen in 2012."