One of Australia’s most famous sons pledges support for gay marriage
Hugh Jackman, and two other Australians associated with the movies – Oscar-winning costume designer Lizzie Gardiner and film critic David Stratton – have signed a pro-gay-marriage declaration from Australian Marriage Equality.
The declaration says: 'Marriage should be about love and respect, not discrimination. Australia is at its best when we value equality over prejudice and fear. That's why we support marriage equality for same-sex couples. Marriage equality will help remove discrimination against same-sex couples and their children. It will also benefit marriage by allowing it to embrace more loving committed couples who uphold its values. It's time for Australia to join the other nations that have benefited from this important reform.'
Australian Marriage Equality welcomed their support. 'Hugh, David, and Lizzie are all happily married straight supporters of equality,' said national convener Alex Greenwich. 'They know how important marriage is to a couple and their families, and like most Australians they don't feel same-sex couples should be denied the meaning and benefits of marriage.'
This year is a crucial for gay marriage in Australia. Support built-up throughout 2011. In December, the ruling Labor party voted to support gay marriage at their national conference. But Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who has not expressed support for gay marriage, succeeded in adding an amendment to the policy that requires a free vote in parliament on any same-sex marriage bill. That amendment will make it difficult for a same-sex marriage bill to make it through parliament as it would depend on support from the socially conservative Liberal Party.
In February, a dinner with Julia Gillard won at a charity in auction will be used to present the case of gay marriage to the prime minister by Greenwich and three same-sex couples.