Out Liberal senator Dean Smith on
Thursday introduced a bill that seeks to allow gay and lesbian
couples to marry in Australia.
Smith's bill comes just a day after
results of a national survey on marriage equality were announced. An
overwhelming majority (61.6%) of respondents voted “yes” to a
change in the law.
vote, Australia's Malcolm Turnbull promises marriage equality before
In introducing his bill, Smith said
that LGBT people often face the hurdle of self-acceptance and that
marriage is vital because “nothing speaks more of acceptance than
Conservatives are expected to push for
amendments that protect religious freedom and undermine the rights of
“Amendments that seek to address
other issues or which seek to deny gay and lesbian Australians with
the full rights, responsibilities and privileges that they already
have will be strenuously opposed,” Smith said.
“Australians did not vote for
equality before the law so that equality before the law that is
already gained be stripped away,” he added.
Marriage equality supporters are aiming
to pass a bill through both houses of parliament before lawmakers
break for the holidays on December 7.