Marriage equality in Australia appears to be once again gaining momentum politically… if you call accept momentum looks like Liberal conservatives (who oppose same-sex marriage) pushing once more for a plebiscite on the issue.
But political chicanery aside, the cause is most definitely gaining momentum in the legal community, with the launch today of a new campaign aimed at promoting marriage equality amongst lawyers, and backed by some very heavy legal hitters.
‘Two People’ describes itself like this:
“We are members of the Australian legal community. We believe in and uphold the rule of law. Marriage equality is, above all else, a question of law.
“Two people want to get married. The law says they cannot. That law is not ancient; it was made in 2004. Equality before the law is ancient. It’s as old as law itself. Older than marriage.
“This law is unequal. It discriminates. No legal principle explains why it should. All we seek is to restore equality. That can be achieved with the simplest change.
“In the Marriage Act, delete the words “a man and a woman” and replace them with “two people”. That’s it – the stroke of a pen. And two people who want to get married, can.”
In other words… your plebiscite can go and get knotted.
The campaign is the brainchild of convention-breaking Sydney law firm Marque Lawyers, headed by Michael Bradley*. And the committee underpinning the campaign is no small thing either.
Recent president of the Australian Human Rights Commission Gillian Triggs is on board. So is constitutional law expert George Williams, and Senior Counsel and former Chair of the Women Barristers Forum, Michelle Painter.
You can find out more about Two People here, and you can pledge your support for the campaign here. It costs you nothing but a few minutes of your time. And it’ll help add your voice to the growing movement for equality, regardless of who you love.
* By way of declaration, our in-house pro bono lawyer is the legendary Geoff Holland, but Michael Bradley and his team pitch in externally to occasionally keep (and dig) New Matilda out of legal trouble. And they do it out of the goodness of their hearts (also pro bono). You can support the outstanding work of Marque Lawyers here.