The Greens back Senator Dean Smith’s marriage bill

The Greens have voiced their support for Liberal Senator Dean Smith’s private members bill that would bring in marriage equality in Australia.

While the results of the government’s non-compulsory non-binding postal survey on the issue won’t be known until Wednesday morning, it is widely predicted that the ‘Yes’ campaign will be successful in showing that the majority of Australians are supportive of changing the nation’s marriage laws.

The Greens leader Richard Di Natale has told The Guardian that he will push for some changes to Senator Smith’s bill but will not do anything to jeopardise it’s passage if the suggested amendments are not accepted.

Senator Smith’s bill, which was developed based upon the findings of a senate inquiry into the issue has been backed by four Liberal members, as well as the Labor party.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has only committed to changing the law via a private members bill if the ‘Yes’ campaign is successful, but has not specified a specific bill.

Conservative MPs including Ian Goodenough, Andrew Hastie, Senator Eric Abetz and a dozen others are reportedly working on their own ‘conservative same sex marriage bill’ that will include wide ranging exemptions for people of faith, conscientious objectors and freedom of speech.

LGBTI rights advocates have criticised the push from right-wing MPs to bring in a range of discriminatory measures to appease those who are opposed to allowing same sex couples to wed.

“No other country passed marriage equality with discriminatory add-ons and Australia shouldn’t either.” longtime campaigner Rodney Croome said.

Alex Greenwich, co-chair of Australian Marriage Equality said the senate inquiry which lead to the development of Senator Smith’s bill was a great example of political parties working together.

“All parties showed great leadership in reaching consensus on what legislation should look like at the beginning of the year.” Greenwich said before adding that now was the time for political parties to put that promise into action.

OIP Staff

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