The ACT Labor Government proudly introduced the Marriage Equality Bill 2013 into the ACT Legislative Assembly last week. We expect this legislation will pass the Assembly as early as October and we will be looking to have the laws operational by the end of the year.
This legislation is owned by all of us. It has been through the hard work of many members of the community who have campaigned for change and enlisted the support of the broader community that enabled us to be in the privileged position of tabling this legislation.
Every member of the ACT Labor parliamentary caucus supports this Bill which allows a united front and has strengthened our position in pursuing this important social change.
On the morning the legislation was introduced we were able to meet with members of the community who had come to witness this historic moment in the chamber. Parents, friends and couples who had taken time out to let us know how important these laws were and what it meant to them.
Moments like this remind us, as politicians, of how important it is for progressive voices to be active participants in politics and why we need to continue working together to create a better and fairer place for all of us to live. Conservative politics just won’t allow progress like this to occur.
Whilst the marriage equality campaign has involved many many people over the years I would like to particularly acknowledge the efforts of the Deputy Chief Minister, Andrew Barr and the Attorney-General, Simon Corbell for the work each of them have done both within the party and the Assembly over the last 12 years to get to this point today.
A copy of the Marriage Equality Bill can be downloaded at: www.legislation.act.gov.au/b/db_48497/current/pdf/db_48497.pdf
Minister Corbell’s full presentation speech is available here: www.cmd.act.gov.au/open_government/inform/act_government_media_releases/corbell/2013/act-labor-government-takes-first-step-towards-legalising-smae-sex-marriage