LEGAL ADVICE GIVES ADVOCATES CONFIDENCE THEY CAN BLOCK VOTE

Equality advocates will challenge a marriage equality postal vote in the High Court if the Government goes ahead with the idea.

Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays has received legal advice from leading QC, Ron Merkel, which gives it confidence it can win a High Court challenge.

Jonathon Hunyor, CEO of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, which has taken on the case for PFLAG, said

“The advice strongly suggests that without specific legislation the government lacks the power to validly hold a postal vote on same sex marriage.”

“Parliament needs to pass a new law to allow a postal vote to be held on this issue and needs to allocate specific funds to conduct the postal vote. Neither of these conditions has been met.”

PFLAG national spokesperson, Shelley Argent, welcomed the advice.

“As a mother of a gay son and as a representative of parents in this country with LGBTI children I will not hesitate to take the Government to the High Court to stop a postal vote.”

“The time has now arrived where marriage equality opponents are desperate and have run out of reasons against marriage equality.”

“Some in the government are so intent on continuing the discrimination of LGBTI people they are now stooping to un-constitutional practice.”

“With marriage equality now legal in many Catholic and Commonwealth countries the Australian Government has run out of excuses.”

Long-time marriage equality advocate and spokesperson for just.equal, Rodney Croome, said,

“A postal vote will not be representative of the whole community, will not be binding on politicians and is just another desperate delaying tactic.”

“It will also be a platform for fear-mongering and hate against LGBTI Australians.”

“To single out only LGBTI people and our human rights for a voluntary, non-binding postal vote is treating same-sex couples differently to everybody else.”

“Human rights and equality issues should be dealt with through the parliament, not the post office.”

“The only legitimate way forward is for there to be a free vote in Parliament.”

“I urge all supporters of marriage equality to throw their support behind this Court challenge should it be necessary.”
Rodney Croome, just.equal