Two private bills that will pave the way to legalising same-sex marriage in Australia were introduced today, the ABC reported.
Labor MP Stephen Jones signalled he would introduce a private bill at the ALP’s conference in December. This will be the second bill following last week’s indication that Greens MP Adam Bandt and Tasmanian independent MP Andrew Wilkie would put forward a separate bill.
This is a groundbreaking development on marriage equality in Australia following opposition from conservative religious and political groups. Edward Santow, chief executive of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, also expressed apprehension about any proposed same-sex legislation saying it “is bound to fail” if not thoroughly discussed in a forum or parliamentary inquiry, the Sydney Morning Herald in its Opinion page said.
However, few days before Valentine’s, same-sex activist group GetUp! urged supporters to mobilise a campaign to soften the hearts of the nation’s federal politicians.
Employing a romantic attempt to win the hearts of parliament members, GetUp! in partnership with the Australian Marriage Equality, asked followers to send roses to their favourite MPs to remind them to review same-sex marriage. “What better way to remind our political representatives of where we stand on Valentine’s Day than to spread some love, and show them that in matters of the heart, we’re united for equality?”
The group has intended to “flood” the offices of political representatives with roses as a “reminder that Australians believe that two people who want to make a lifelong commitment deserve full and equal recognition before their family, friends and the law,” the group said.
Earlier today, 3000 roses arrived in the Parliament House in Canberra. Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Opposition Leader Tony Abott received 500 each, Nine News reported.
Supporter can continue to send flowers through the group’s Chip In To Send a Rose page.
The roses on Valentine’s are only a prelude to a more intimate petition. In the coming few days, GetUp! also plans to send “three wonderful same-sex couples” to dinner with the prime minister.
Optimistic for the passage of a bill on marriage equality, GetUp! said Valentine’s Day is the most auspicious day to send love and to be united in love. “We’re closer than ever before to real marriage equality in Australia. So this Valentine’s Day, we’re not giving up on love, and we’re not letting our politicians give up either – not until marriage equality becomes the law of the land, “the group said in an email.
GetUp! claims it was able to gather more than 150,000 petition signatures last year and rallied alongside more than 10,000 other supporters at the ALP National Conference. It also takes pride in the video production of “It’s Time” which has viewed by more than 5 million viewers and still counting.
The group has reasons to be optimistic. The group said the ban on same-sex marriage has been lifted in California. In time of the Valentine’s Day around the world, the Hufftington Post also reported that the state of New Jersey has already passed a bill to recognise same-sex marriage– a move move that supporters called a “civil rights milestone” and Washington became the seventh state in the US to enact a law reconising same-sex marriage on Monday.