As the Senate commences its debate of marriage equality, Senator Bob Carr is the latest Labor MP to confirm his support for changing the Marriage Act.
The former NSW Premier and Senior Cabinet Minister (pictured) hadn’t spoken publicly on the issue before, but now the Sydney Morning Herald that approving same sex marriage is consistent with Labor’s policies and track-record of removing discrimination against LGBT Australians.
He says he respects those who hold conservative views on marriage, but it “seemed churlish to deny access to marriage to groups that wanted it.”
Beginning this morning, the Senate will debate the issue, which is expected to be voted on this Wednesday.
Currently there are 31 declared supporters of marriage equality in the Senate, including 20 from Labor, 9 Greens, and 2 Coalition Senators. Key undecided Senators include Senator Conroy and Senator Xenophon.
Australian Marriage Equality campaigner Alex Greenwich welcomes Carr’s support.
“Not only is Bob Carr joining the 64% of Australians and majority of his fellow cabinet ministers who back the reform, but he has also evolved from a position where he thought Civil Unions were the way forward,” he says.
“Thousands of constituents have recently written to Senator Carr and shared how this reform would benefit them, their families, and their communities. In doing so they have proved how effective our grassroots campaign has been compared to the alarmism and extremism of opponents of reform.”
Greenwich believes this week’s debate and vote will show how far the campaign for marriage equality has come since the last vote in 2009, when only six Senators backed the reform.