AME’s Draft Statement

Below is the evasive “draft statement” being put together by AME as a lobbying document, and which conspicuously fails to call on the senate to block a plebisite.

It also, bizarely, puts the onus on Labor and Greens to move this issue forward if the plebiscite is blocked. That is, it does not place any responsibility on the *government*.

This is totally at odds with AME’s mantra of “all parties should work together” and it let’s the government off the hook. Is this what VGLRL is going to sign on behalf of all LGBTI’s in Victoria? Not this little black duck.

DRAFT STATEMENT by AME and its “supporters”…..

As organisations and leaders of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) communities, we call on the Australian Parliament to ensure that every Australian is able to marry the person they love, in the country they cherish.

Making a solemn commitment to build a secure future with your partner, in front of your family and friends, is something that should be publicly celebrated. Declaring your commitment to look after your partner in sickness and health both cements your relationship through the rough times and shares your joys in the good times with those close to you.

We make this call not only on behalf of LGBTI communities and their families who have been waiting for over a decade, but importantly to ensure future generations of LGBTI Australians can grow up on equal footing with their peers.

Two thirds of the Australian people, a majority of both houses of parliament and leaders of all major parties support marriage equality. We have never had so much support for achieving this small step towards every Australian having the same opportunities as their neighbour.

Our shared goal is simple – we want marriage equality as soon as possible at the lowest cost.

Marriage equality is about people, not politics. It is about the grandma who wants to see her grandson married in her lifetime, the father who wants to walk his daughter down the aisle, and the many ageing couples who have endured inequality throughout their lives.

Our relationships, future happiness and security should not be used for political point-scoring.

We call on our political leaders to put aside partisanship and come together to find an achievable pathway for marriage equality, this term.

The Government proposes a plebiscite which we believe is unnecessary, costly and divisive, when the law can be changed through a straightforward vote in parliament. No Australian should have to witness a national debate on their worth or the value of their relationship.

We call on MPs who have committed to block the plebiscite to offer another way forward, an alternative pathway to achieving marriage equality this term.

And if a plebiscite is to be held against our wishes, we ask parliament to ensure a fair and reasonable process that minimises the considerable impact on the LGBTI community, our family and friends.

It is time. Let’s ensure all Australians can equally have their love and commitment recognised through marriage.

About the author

Veteran gay writer and speaker, Doug was one of the founders of the UKs pioneering GLBTI newspaper Gay News (1972) , and of the second, Gay Week, and is a former Features Editor of Him International. He presented news and current affairs on JOY 94.9 FM Melbourne for more than ten years. "Doug is revered, feared and reviled in equal quantities, at times dividing people with his journalistic wrath. Yet there is no doubt this grandpa-esque bear keeps everyone abreast of anything and everything LGBT across the globe." (Daniel Witthaus, "Beyond Priscilla", Clouds of Magellan, Melbourne, 2014)