Political conservatives who support same-sex marriage have launched a campaign urging voters to say ‘yes’ in next month’s postal survey on the issue.
The campaign features messages from senior Liberals and Nationals including federal ministers Christopher Pyne and Kelly O’Dwyer, as well as Queenslanders Trevor Evans and Sue Boyce.
Pyne said: “I’ll be campaigning for a yes vote. Most western countries have managed to do it and I think it’s high time Australia got in sync with the rest of the world on the issue.”
Evans, the Liberal MP for Brisbane, said: “I’m voting yes because Liberals believe in the worth of every person. Australians are diverse and should be equal before the law.”
Federal Liberal party president Nick Greiner, the campaign’s patron, has also called on the country’s conservatives and liberals to vote “yes”, arguing that like most institutions, marriage has evolved over time.
He said arguments from prominent “no” campaigners including Tony Abbott and the Australian Christian Lobby that legalising same-sex marriage would hurt religious freedom are misleading.
“The deliberate conflating of issues only happens when people know they cannot win an argument on its merits,” Greiner wrote in the Australian newspaper.
“Conflation should be called out for what it is, a debating device… Any case for enhancing protection for religious freedom exists today and is not dependent on a change to marriage laws.”
He said the Marriage Act has been changed 20 times since it’s introduction in 1961 because “quite simply, static institutions die.”
“[Religious] freedoms are at the forefront of [the same-sex marriage legislation] drafted by senator Dean Smith and MPs Tim Wilson, Warren Entsch, Trent Zimmerman and Trevor Evans.”
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