by Rex Wockner
Australian marriage equality advocates welcomed the Aug. 21 federal election results, saying the nation is “a huge step closer” to allowing same-sex marriages.
Australian Marriage Equality spokesperson Alex Greenwich said that with the balance of power now held by independents in the House of Representatives and by the Greens in the Senate, chances for reform have increased dramatically.
“If a major party can be persuaded by the Greens and/or independents to have a conscience vote, it’s game on,” Greenwich said. “The 2010 election campaign saw the issue of marriage equality move to the center of the political stage, and now the result has seen achieving marriage equality move into the realms of real possibility.”
Greenwich said the overall national swing from Labor to the Greens “is partly because Labor betrayed its own principles by opposing marriage equality while the Greens have been the only party representing the 60 percent of Australians who support marriage equality.”
He said his group’s heavy leafleting in gay neighborhoods also cost Labor votes and gained votes for the Greens.
“The swing against Labor and to the Greens is particularly pronounced in the … inner-city seats of Grayndler, Sydney and Melbourne where we distributed 75,000 leaflets highlighting Labor’s anti-equality stance,” Greenwich said.