Photo from Australian Marriage Equality Facebook
The sole representative of the Liberal Democratic Party in the Australian Senate, David Leyonhjelm, announced last week that he would introduce a Freedom to Marry Bill in the nation’s latest attempt to legalize same-sex marriage. Despite widespread public support, there’s fear that Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who opposes marriage equality, will force representatives of his Liberal Party to shoot it down. LGBT activists, therefore, are calling for a free conscious vote, and they’re making sure the voices for equality are heard.
Through their website, Australian Marriage Equality (AME) enabled proponents of a free vote to email all 134 Liberal and National members. The result was 1,022,956 emails that the organization delivered at once, in convenient PDF packages. Rodney Croome, AME’s national convenor, said this of the move:
“The large number of Australians who have sent emails to their federal government members reflects strong majority support for a marriage equality free vote.”
“It's time for the Liberal and National parties to live up to their principle of individual freedom by allowing their parliamentary members the freedom to vote for marriage equality.”
However, massive email campaigns are not unique to marriage equality supporters. The Australian Christian Lobby arranged for over 2 million emails to be sent calling for legislators to unanimously vote to preserve the nation’s traditional definition of marriage. Croome has questioned the legitimacy of the emails, however, claiming to have been informed that the “emails arrive like clockwork, without any peaks or troughs, suggesting at least some are being automatically generated.”
While the issue is clearly a divisive one, Leyonhjelm remains optimistic that the government will allow for a free vote. The bill will be introduced and debated on Thursday. It is unclear whether a vote will take place on the same day.
(H/T Gay Star News)