Australian Marriage Equality (AME) today revealed that it will target 50 federal MPs with its new nationwide ‘We’re Waiting’ campaign aimed at getting law makers to act on same-sex marriage
Only 25 more MPs are needed to support reform for legislation to pass the Parliament but the campaign wants to be on the safe side so is targeting 50.
The 50 MPs are mostly Liberal members of Australia’s Liberal-National Coalition government but also include some key Nationals and members of the opposition Australian Labor Party.
The ‘We’re Waiting’ campaign is aimed at putting a face to the millions of Australians waiting for reform and hopes to empower local communities in targeted electorates to help reform happen.
AME’s target parliamentarians will today receive a rose sent from people who are waiting for the reform to pass.
This includes gay couples waiting to marry, straight couples who have put their weddings on hold until their gay friends can marry, parents waiting for their sons or daughters to be treated equally by the law – and the majority of Australians waiting for reform to happen.
Polling has shown that around 65% of Australians want the Australian Parliament to pass equal marriage laws.
‘Today we launch our new campaign to activate grass roots support in the 50 electorates we have identified are key to achieving marriage equality,’ AME national director Rodney Croome told a press conference earlier today.
‘We have selected 50 MPs who we believe may be persuaded to support reform, and if we can persuade just half of them, marriage equality will pass.
‘Tens of thousands same-sex couples are waiting to get married, 65% of Australian are waiting for the laws to change, and now even straight couples are waiting to get married till their gay friends can.
‘Our campaign, “We’re Waiting,” will put a face to the millions of Australians waiting for reform in key electorates, and will empower these communities to do something about it.
‘This starts from today with marriage equality supporters, gay and straight, visiting their MPs office for the first time to deliver roses, start the conversation about marriage equality, and ask them the question "what are you waiting for?”’
‘From the WA seat of Cowan to the Queensland seat of McPherson, over the coming weeks and months we will support these local communities to build the profile of the issue in key electorates and open the hearts and minds of undecided MPs.
The campaign has the support of champion Wallabies footballer David Pocock, who is waiting to marry his partner Emma until the laws change.
‘It comes down to equal love. I don’t think it’s the government’s role to tell people that their love is right or wrong.’ Pocock said,
‘I couldn’t keep quiet while people I loved dearly were being penalized for their sexuality – something they can do nothing about. Oh, and also the sky didn’t fall during the few days of marriage equality in Canberra – which no doubt many anti-equality groups predicted.’
The campaign’s video featuring gay and straight couples across Australia is at www.werewaiting.org