Greens MP Cate Faehrmann’s motion in support of marriage equality has passed in a historic vote for the NSW Legislative Council today.
A conscience vote was provided to Coalition and Labor party MPs, and the final vote today was 22 to 16, meaning NSW is now officially calling on the Commonwealth to enact marriage equality.
Tasmania and the ACT have already passed similar motions, putting pressure on Canberra’s lawmakers to get with the times.
“This is a great day. I congratulate my NSW Upper House colleagues for their leadership. Today we are on the right side of history,” says a triumphant Faehrmann.
“For the first time MPs from all major parties have joined together to vote in favour of marriage equality. Yes, this was a symbolic motion, but it is immensely significant. Today we have given voice to the majority of NSW citizens who don’t want our marriage laws to discriminate.”
Denying anyone the right to marry who they love is ludicrous, she adds. “It’s last century and it’s time our Federal Parliament caught up. The NSW Legislative Council, Australia’s oldest House of Parliament, has shown great leadership in sending this clear message to the Commonwealth today.”
As debate progressed, the ultimately successful motion received three amendments – shown below as (c ), (d) and (e) – and reads as follows:
That this House:
(a) supports marriage equality
(b) calls on the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia to amend the Commonwealth Marriage Act 1961 to provide for marriage equality.
(c) notes that Article 18 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides that “everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance”,
(d) calls on all participants in the debate on marriage equality to treat those with differing views with respect, dignity and tolerance, and
(e) calls for any amendment to the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth) to ensure that religious institutions are not forced to solemnise marriages they do not wish to.