Greens spokesperson on Marriage Equality, Sue Pennicuik MLC, has introduced her marriage equality bill into the Victorian upper house today.
"My private member's Marriage Equality Bill 2012 is a bill to create a same-sex marriage act in Victoria," Ms Pennicuik said.
"Since the federal Marriage Act 1961 was amended by the Howard government in 2004 to specify that marriage is between a man and a woman, a body of legal opinion now holds that it is possible for the states to legislate for same-sex marriage as this would not be inconsistent with s109 of the Commonwealth Constitution."It is important that we achieve marriage equality in Australia, because allowing discrimination to exist in the law sends the wrong message to the community,” Ms Pennicuik said. “Without marriage equality, some people may believe that it is okay to discriminate in other ways.
"It is a fundamental right to choose one's partner and to have that love fully accepted and recognised.
"We need to achieve this important law reform to send a message that all love is equal before the law.
"Polls and a survey by a House of Representatives Committee show that around two-thirds of Australians understand this and support same-sex marriage," Ms Pennicuik said.
"I am very proud to introduce my Marriage Equality Bill 2012 into state parliament today," Ms Pennicuik said. "I anticipate debate on the bill sometime later this year unless marriage equality is achieved at the federal level by amending the Marriage Act 1961. With growing support in the Australian community, this may well be achieved."
For further comment: Sue Pennicuik – 03 9530 8399
For Sue's Second Reading Speech click here