Same-Sex Marriage Debate In Australia Heats Up; Corporations Show Full Support In Ad

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Gay couples wait in lineto apply for a marriage license in Salt Lake City
Tarah Camarillo (L-R), her partner Nicole Barnes, Leighton Hilburn and his partner Preston Perry wait in line with hundreds of other people to apply for a marriage license at the Salt Lake County Clerks office in Salt Lake City, Utah, December 23, 2013. Reuters/Jim Urquhart

Australians who are in favour of legalising gay marriage are being urged to express their opinion to their local officials. Advocates of marriage equality believe the country is “within striking distance” of recognising same-sex marriages.

Ivan Hinton-Teoh, deputy director of Australian Marriage Equality, has praised Opposition and Labor party leader Bill Shorten for announcing that he would move a bill on Monday to legalise same-sex marriage.

Hinton-Teoh called on Australians in favour of the bill to also pressure their politicians to support it. “The most important thing people can do is share their stories, get in contact with their MPs and Senators,” said Hinton-Teoh.

Shorten had formally given notice of the bill and said he would present a bill for an Act to amend the Marriage Act 1961 to establish marriage equality. He added that Australia’s current law excludes some individuals of marriage and to him, it was something “unacceptable,” reports 9News.  

Some recent polls show Australia’s support for gay marriage at its highest with 72 percent. Big businesses in the country have recently taken out a full-page ad in support of marriage equality.

A spokesman for Westpac Group said the company is proud to support lesbians, bisexuals, gays, transgenders and intersex Australians. Some of the big companies supporting marriage equality are Google, ANZ, Foxtel, Optus, Qantas, Telstra, Commonwealth and St. George.

“Business leaders across Australia have signed the letter by Marriage Equality Australia, to recognise the rights of all their employees to live and work free of discrimination,” said a spokesperson for SBS. Press TV reports that the company has expressed its support for diversity and the rights of its employees.

Australian Marriage Equality is planning to hold a rally in Sydney on Sunday to urge the government to allow a free vote for the legalisation of same-sex marriage. Hinton-Teoh remains hopeful that the bill would attract more support.

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