It’s a historic day. The Australian Senate’s inquiry into marriage equality has reported back to Parliament this afternoon, strongly recommending a change to the Marriage Act.
79,200 submissions to the inquiry were received, with the Senate saying this was an “unprecedented” number of views, many of them heartfelt opinions about an issue they felt very strongly about. Of them, 59% were in favour of marriage equality, with 41% against.
“What marriage was many decades years ago is different to what we have in our country today,” noted the inquiry.
“It’s time to accept that same-sex couples choose to stay together for the rest of their lives, because they are deeply in love.”
Report says “The committee strongly supports the Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2010 and recommends that it be debated and passed into law— Sarah Hanson-Young (@sarahinthesen8) June 25, 2012
The recommendation was a result of cross-party support, with the ALP, Greens and Liberal Senators’ endorsements.
A memorable submission by same-sex marriage advocate and ‘Supermum’ to a gay son Shelley Argent was noted in particular as an example of a family member who believed very strongly in equality and fairness.
The Greens’ Sarah Hanson-Young, welcomed the report in the Senate today, saying the inquiry’s groundbreaking decision closely follows the support of US President Barack Obama and NZ Prime Minister John Key. She said she hoped that Australia will soon join an increasing number of countries which accept same-sex marriages.
“The sky has not fallen in those places,” she said, “indeed, the sun is shining brighter on them.”
Senate Inquiry recommends #marriageequality woohoo!!! Thank you to the 46,000 Aussies who made history supporting this reform— Alex Greenwich (@AlexGreenwich) June 25, 2012
Australia’s most prominent marriage equality advocate Alex Greenwich says the Senate’s decision “is a watershed moment in the marriage equality debate because Coalition, Labor and Greens members of the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee have joined forces to help progress a reform a majority of Australians want.”
Last week, the House of Representatives committee looking into marriage equality said that 64% were in favour of the law change, but did not make any specific recommendation for or against it.
Photo: Julie-Ann and Kate.