Senator Robert Simms.

Robert Simms-001

The Australian Greens have announced they will bring their Bill for marriage equality back to the Senate for debate on Thursday 12 November.

Greens spokesperson on marriage equality and LGBTI, Senator Robert Simms, said now is the time to end discrimination in marriage.

“We know that Australians support marriage equality and they want to see the Parliament deliver it. That is why we are bringing our bill on for debate on November 12,” Senator Simms said.

“This is a chance for Malcolm Turnbull to show that he is not beholden to the dinosaurs in the Liberal Party and that he is on the side of love and equality.”

The Bill, which was introduced at the start of the Abbott government in 2013, would amend the Marriage Act to: define marriage as a union of two people; clarify that ministers of religion are not bound to solemnise marriage by any other law; remove the prohibition of the recognition of same sex marriages solemnised in a foreign country; and include a regulation making power so that consequential amendments can be made to other Acts.

“This is fundamentally an issue about fairness and love. This shouldn’t be a debate about process. We just need to get it done.” Senator Simms said.

The Greens announcement that they will bring back their bill comes as Liberal MPs argue over the process for holding a plebiscite on the issue.

Warren Entsch, who supports marriage equality, has suggested to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull that legislation for a plebiscite vote on the issue could be introduced in the current parliament. The suggestion has been labeled as an ambush on the conservative side of the Liberal party by outspoken senator Eric Abetz.

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