Australian marriage campaigner elected to parliament

One of the leading proponents of marriage equality in Australia has been elected to the New South Wales state parliament, making him the first Australian politician in a same-sex marriage

Australian marriage campaigner elected to parliament
28 October 2012

The campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in Australia has welcomed the election of Australia’s first member of Parliament in a same-sex marriage.

Former Australian Marriage Equality (AME) national convener Alex Greenwich was elected on Saturday to the state of New South Wales’ (NSW) Lower House in a by-election in the seat of Sydney.

Greenwich married long term partner Victor Hoeld in Argentina in May this year.

The current convener of AME, Rodney Croome, welcomed his election.

‘We congratulate Alex on his election and for becoming the first Australian MP in a same-sex marriage,’ Croome said.

‘We call on the NSW Government to respect Alex Greenwich’s marriage by treating him and husband as married partners for all relevant purposes.’

Croome thanked Greenwich for his contribution to the marriage equality movement in Australia and assured supporters of reform that the campaign will continue to make gains.

‘Alex’s skills as an advocate, lobbyist, strategist and diplomat helped forge a strong, cohesive and respected movement for marriage equality,’ Croome said.

‘AME will build on Alex’s legacy in our continuing campaign to achieve full legal equality for same-sex couples and their families.’

Greenwich was endorsed in his campaign by Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore who had held the seat prior to the election alongside being mayor until the Liberal Party lead NSW Government passed a law barring MPs from also sitting on town councils.

However the move appears to have blown back on the Liberals with Greenwich grabbing over 60 percent of the vote after preferences.

Following his victory, Greenwich told a press conference that he was not a one issue candidate.

‘[The Liberals] ran a campaign calling me a single-issue candidate,’ Greenwich told reporters.

‘[But]I feel passionately about a number of issues, including animal welfare, strata reform, better transport alternatives’

‘’Yes, I am very proud of my record about progressing the marriage equality debate, and that’s something that is supported across this electorate as well.

‘I was encouraged throughout the entire campaign about the amount of support there was out there to keep Sydney independent and the amount of outrage there was out there that our sitting member had been removed.’

Greenwich is also the youngest sitting member of the New South Wales Parliament.

Australian Marriage Equality will be meeting with supporters in Sydney and Melbourne next month to discuss the best way forward for the campaign after bills to legalize same-sex marriage failed in the state of Tasmania and the Australian Parliament.

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