It’s time

By voting yes to same sex marriage, Ireland has prompted renewed calls for marriage equality in Australia.

It was an extraordinary result - a massive 62 per cent voted in favour of amending the country's constitution.

And I believe Australia could enjoy a similar result, with polls showing this is an issue the clear majority of Australians support.

However Australia does not need a referendum. The truth is, it’s much simpler than that.

The High Court has made clear that same sex marriage is a matter for the national Parliament to decide.
 
It’s time for marriage equality in Australia, which is why Bill Shorten and Tanya Plibersek introduced a same sex marriage bill into Parliament this week.

Same sex marriage in Australia could be achieved almost immediately if the Prime Minister allowed his Members of Parliament and Senators a conscience vote.

The ball is now firmly in the Prime Minister’s court. It’s time for the Prime Minister to free up his party room to exercise their conscience.

In my own eyes, all women and men should be equal before the law of this Commonwealth, no matter their colour, creed or sexual orientation.

People have the right to choose the individual they love, and if they choose to marry, the state should not stand in their way.

That’s why I voted to support same-sex marriage in the past, and that’s why I will continue to support it in the future.

Here’s the link to my speech in 2012 when the Parliament voted to amend the Marriage Act.

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