ACTU pass motion to support marriage equality and a free vote for MPs

ACTU President Ged Kearney

Australia’s largest council of affiliated trade unions has taken a stance on marriage equality, voting in favour of same-sex marriage and to oppose the government’s proposed plebiscite calling instead for a free vote for MPs.

The Australian Council of Trade Unions passed the motion on Tuesday, stating that “all people in Australia must be treated equally by the law.” The Council also called on the Prime Minister to allow a free vote to legislate for marriage equality, rather than the “divisive and costly plebiscite.”

The peak body cited concerns that the non-binding public vote would “in effect result in significant public vilification of a wide range of people, including the children of same-sex couples, and have no more legal standing than an opinion poll.”

The successful vote comes as long-time marriage equality opponents and members of the ACTU, the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association (SDA), passed a motion earlier in the month to stand neutral on the marriage debate and cease active opposition.

National spokesperson for Australian Marriage Equality Shirleene Robinson said the organisation welcomes the support of the Australian Council of Trade Unions.

“The members, their friends and families understand that this reform is about people, not politics, and affording every Australian the dignity and respect they deserve,” Robinson said.

“Whatever the path to marriage equality we look forward to working alongside the ACTU to achieve equality for all.”

OIP Staff


Image:- (Arsineh Houspian)

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