A group of Australian rainbow families have pushed for a free vote on marriage equality in a cute new video.
In the video, produced by Rainbow Families Victoria, children from ages 9 to 19 describe their families and the importance of marriage equality to them.
“In my rainbow family, I have my mum, my other mum, my dad, my sister, my brother, my four chickens,” one girl explains.
Another says: “It’s unfair if some people can marry but some people can’t.”
On Sunday, Liberal Senator Dean Smith unveiled his private member’s bill for marriage equality and called for a free vote to be held in the parliament.
But others within the party want a voluntary postal vote held instead, as a way of replacing the national plebiscite rejected by the Senate last year.
The Liberal party room will debate the issue on Monday afternoon.
Marriage equality campaigners have pledged to challenge a postal vote on the reform in the High Court if the federal government goes ahead with the idea.
On Monday, the Human Rights Law Centre (HRLC) published legal opinion from three constitutional lawyers suggesting the postal vote plan would be unconstitutional and open to legal challenge in the High Court.
HRLC Legal Advocacy Director Anna Brown released a joint opinion from top constitutional experts Katherine Richardson SC, James Emmett and Surya Palaniappan confirming that the Government spending money on a postal vote without passing legislation would be unconstitutional.
“Top constitutional lawyers have concluded that the Government does not have the power to pay the Australian Electoral Commission to conduct a postal plebiscite without passing legislation authorising that taxpayer money be used in this way first,” she said.
Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) Australia said on Sunday they’d also received legal advice that had given them confidence campaigners could win a High Court challenge against such a vote.
Jonathon Hunyor from the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, which has taken on the case for PFLAG, said the advice strongly suggested that without specific legislation, the government “lacks the power to validly hold a postal vote on same sex marriage.”
“Parliament needs to pass a new law to allow a postal vote to be held on this issue and needs to allocate specific funds to conduct the postal vote,” he said.
“Neither of these conditions has been met.”
Just.equal spokesperson Rodney Croome said a postal vote was a delaying tactic and “to single out only LGBTI people and our human rights for a voluntary, non-binding postal vote is treating same-sex couples differently to everybody else.”
“I urge all supporters of marriage equality to throw their support behind this Court challenge should it be necessary,” he said.