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Gay marriage ban impacts on skilled migration, says Aussie former senator

Western Australia convenor of Australian Marriage Equality says that political leaders' resistance to gay marriage is bad for business

Gay marriage ban impacts on skilled migration, says Aussie former senator

Former senator Brian Greig said that Australia’s resistance to legalizing gay marriage is preventing much-need skilled workers from immigrating there.

‘Our nation’s increasing isolation on this matter is impacting recruitment and employment mobility,’ wrote Greig in an editorial for Sydney Morning Herald.

‘By putting up a legislative wall around our island nation our parliament has created a fortress of intolerance that is repelling needed workers.’

Greig wrote about the cases of two British mental health professionals who were planning to move to rural Australian, where their services were needed, but changed their minds when they learnt that their same-sex partners would be unable to work.

‘Both were shocked to discover that the relaxed, tolerate and "fair go for all" Australia they had believed in was a myth,’ wrote Greig, who was awarded a Order of Australia Medal in 2011 for his work for the LGBT community.

‘In the end both doctors and their respective partners went to New Zealand which did not discriminate.’

Neither Prime Minister Julia Gillard nor opposition leader Tony Abbott support same-sex marriage in Australia.

On Saturday (18 May) over 100 people picketed outside Abbott’s office to pressure him to allow his MPs a free conscience vote on any same-sex marriage bill that reaches parliament.