Same-sex marriage: Qantas boss Alan Joyce makes personal donation to 'yes' campaign

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alan joyce qantas
Alan Joyce, CEO of Quantas looks on during the panel discussion on climate change goals at the 2016 International Air Transport Association (IATA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) and World Air Transport Summit in Dublin, Ireland June 3, 2016. Reuters/Clodagh Kilcoyne

Qantas boss Alan Joyce has donated $1 million to the “Yes” campaign for same-sex marriage. It comes amid reports he pocketed $25 million paycheck last year alone.

There are reports claiming that Joyce’s donation is the largest individual contribution so far. It is believed other business leaders have also pledged sizeable donation. Last month, Joyce announced his intentions to personally support the yes campaign. He encouraged other businesses to do the same.

“I will personally donate a significant amount of money to the campaign because I am passionate about it,” the Australian Financial Review quotes Joyce as saying. He said he would spend as much time as the campaign wants him to speak about it.

Joyce said there are 1,300 companies that have published their logo to support marriage equality, including all the banks and airlines. He said he believes these companies should go out and support it. A large element of the business community will back up the campaign, according to him.

Anthony Pratt, the nation’s richest man, and AGL chief executive Andy Vesey also came out to support same-sex marriage. Even Aussie politicians have come out in support of it. These include Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Australia's marriage act

Turnbull has reportedly made a surprise appearance and speech at the launch of the New South Wales Yes campaign, which was attended by over 20,000 people ahead of a non-binding postal vote on changing Australia's marriage act. The Aussie leader previously said he would personally be voting in favour of same-sex marriage.

"Throughout my public life I've sought to ensure same-sex couples are not discriminated against and their entitlements, be it in respect of medical benefits, taxation, superannuation or employment, are no different to those afforded to heterosexual couples,” Turnbull reportedly said before asking why those same rights be extended to marriage. He has not publicly campaigned prior to his surprise speech in Sydney.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics started mailing out the first of millions of ballot papers on Tuesday for the postal survey. Campaigning is therefore expected to heap on.

The ballot papers must be returned by November 7. The result will be announced on November 15. Based on a recent Fairfax-Ipsos poll, 65 percent of voters said they were "certain" to participate in the survey and of those, 70 percent said they would vote for change.

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