With support for marriage equality at its highest ever it is time for Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott to move out of the way and stop delaying the inevitable, the Australian Greens said today.
"Debate will start on the Greens' Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2010 today and I encourage all Senators to get behind this important reform to achieve full equality for same-sex couples," said Greens' human rights spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.
"The Inquiry into my Bill, which was supported by all parties, strongly recommended that the federal marriage laws need to be changed to end the current discrimination against same-sex couples.
"Support for marriage equality is growing in the Senate and it is now time for Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott to get on the right side of history and join the national chorus for marriage equality.
"Australians want to see their friends and loved ones treated equally under the law and do not believe that the discriminatory marriage laws are a true reflection of modern Australia.
"The best way to get these reforms through Parliament is for MPs from all sides to work together - and to that end I extend a hand of welcome for co-sponsors to my Bill.
"The announcement today by the ACT Government to approve civil unions is a welcome progression for same-sex couples, but falls short of the marriage equality reforms the majority of Australian's want.
"Civil unions confirm the narrative that same-sex couples are second class citizens and this has been reiterated by Conservative British Prime Minister David Cameron who is strongly supportive of marriage equality.
"Prime Minister Cameron supports marriage equality because he is a Conservative. It is this kind of leadership that we need to see from Prime Minister Gillard and Tony Abbott.
"The time for marriage equality is now; it is time for our federal Parliamentarians to get on with it."
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