Parliament vote a disgrace, say marriage equality campaigners

Community Action Against Homophobia released the statement below on September 19.

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Community Action Against Homophobia (CAAH) express disgust at today's rejection of equal marriage rights by Australian parliament. Only 42 MPs supported the private members bill put forward by Labor backbencher Stephen Jones, while 98 MPs voted against.

Cat Rose, CAAH co-convener, said: “What is wrong with this country when 62% of Australians support equal rights but less than a third of our parliament comes out on the right side? Today's vote is a total insult to our community.

“We are sick of people like Julia Gillard telling us that our relationships are valued while spitting in our faces when it comes to actually granting equal rights. While those who voted on the right side should be commended, we condemn both Labor and Liberal for today's disgrace.

“If the ALP had treated this like any other policy, and held their politicians to vote along party lines in accordance with their party's so-called support for equal marriage, we would not be in this situation. Support means actually committing to getting it through, not mouthing platitudes.

“In better news, it's great to see Cory Bernardi get kicked out of parliament for his disgraceful comments that compared gay marriage to sex with animals. It is a real victory for the broader campaign that this kind of bigotry is no longer tolerated in the mainstream, but Jim Wallace (head of the Australian Christian Lobby) is delusional when he says that Australians want to move on from the gay marriage debate.

“Years of protesting around this issue has shown an implacable determination to win equal rights in Australia. We will be escalating this campaign to challenge those in parliament who don't give this issue the respect it deserves.”

Bryn Hutchinson, CAAH co-convenor said: "It is simply inexcusable for our parliament to be so out of step with the majority of Australians on such an important human rights issue. With 65% of the House of Representatives voting against what is quite frankly a no brainer, they have failed to uphold a key aspect of our democracy — the equality of all citizens.

“I say each Australian who supports marriage equality needs to send a strong message to their parliamentarians today. Tell them it is not good enough. Tell them we won't be waiting another decade for equality. Tell them we will never give up our fight for full and equal recognition.

”This result will only steel the resolve of equality advocates and CAAH shall continue to stridently demand nothing less than full marriage equality. Come to the next rally and make your voice heard!”

CAAH is calling on people to attend the next big demonstration for marriage equality in Sydney, which takes place at 1pm, November 25, Sydney Town Hall.

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