Equality advocates have welcomed the Labor Party’s decision to bind its members against any amendments to marriage equality legislation, making it much harder for extra discrimination to be written into the Marriage Act.

But they also expressed disappointment that this will also make it harder to improve the current bill along the lines proposed by the Greens.

Just.equal spokesperson, Rodney Croome, said,

“We congratulate the Labor Party for holding firm against further discrimination, and thank all the grassroots LGBTI community advocates who urged Labor to draw the line.”

“By binding its members to oppose further discrimination Labor has responded to many of the concerns expressed during the LGBTI community consultations we have conducted.”

“But we are disappointed Labor’s decision also covers Green amendments that would have improved the legislation and which are also a response to LGBTI community concerns. We urge Labor to seriously consider supporting these positive amendments.”

Executive director of Rainbow Families Victoria, Felicity Marlowe, said,

“Today’s announcement by the ALP is a mixed blessing.”

“While on one hand it means we are very likely to see the bill pass in the Senate without more discriminatory amendments, it also means that the fantastic amendments proposed by the Greens will not be included in the bill going forward.”

“I urge the ALP to reconsider their agreement in light of amendments that improve the bill and send a more positive message to the LGBTIQ community by doing so.”

Throughout 2017, PFLAG, just.equal and Rainbow Families conducted extensive consultations with the LGBTI community. These consultations found deep opposition to provisions that allow discrimination against LGBTI people in return for the right to marry, and a strong desire to wait for legislation that does not include such provisions.
Rodney Croome, justequal