Twenty of Australia’s top business people have written to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull urging him to act on marriage equality.
But their letter has ruffled the feathers of others who have told them to stick to business.
It is co-signed by the CEOs of some of Australia’s biggest and most influential corporations. They include airline Qantas, broadcaster SBS, car company Holden, AMEX, Apple and telecommunication companies Telstra and Optus.
They asked the PM to introduce legislation to amend the Marriage Act to allow couples of all genders to marry as soon as possible.
‘The majority of Australians and MPs support this reform,’ they said in the joint letter.
‘We ask the Australian Parliament to deliver civil marriage equality for every Australian so that our nation can move forward as a more inclusive place to live, work and play.
‘It is very clear that the business case for supporting civil marriage equality is compelling. Enabling loving, committed couples to be married, regardless of their sexual orientation will contribute to a stronger economy and a more inclusive Australia.’
Not a happy camper
Anti-marriage equality advocates, including Australia’s Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, condemned the joint effort.
The Minister said they should stop jamming ‘politically correct nonsense down our throats’.
‘The CEOs would be better off out there arguing at the moment for the economy to be run a particular way or for tax to be reformed in this way so that people grow their businesses and grow jobs as opposed to taking on these moral causes,’ he told radio station 2GB.
‘If they want to run for politics, well resign from their position and stick their hand up at the next election but don’t jam your politically correct views down our throats.
‘Some of these CEOs who are doing the wrong thing, who are part of campaigns to criticise companies like Coopers and others frankly need to be publicly shamed and I think people frankly are getting sick of all this politically correct nonsense.’
But powerful people should use their influence to lobby policy makers according to marriage equality organisation just.equal’s, Ivan Hinton-Teoh.
‘The freedom to discuss issues of public concern is a freedom we all hold dear. The country has been debating marriage equality for more than 13 years,’ he said.
‘In the absence of political movement on marriage equality it’s only right that community members who find themselves in positions of power and influence use it to raise the issue, standing with the majority of Australians who wish the reform to pass.’
JFDIA (Just f***ing do it already)
Prime Minister Turnbull is under increasing pressure to allow a free vote on marriage equality in parliament after his Liberal Party’s proposed plebiscite on the issue was blocked by the Senate.
The pressure is also mounting after a senate report delivered revised legislation that both sides of the debate agreed with. And now that most MPs and Senators support marriage equality the issue could be resolved quickly.
But he has reaffirmed his party’s position saying they made an election promise to decide the issue with a public vote.