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Australian lawyers seek to legalise same sex marriage with “the simplest change”

Bolstered by an environment where more than half of all Australians support marriage equality, the Two People campaign is hoping to enact real legal change.

The campaign aims to change the wording of the current Marriage Act – to replace “a man and a woman” with “two people”.

Although the current political debate surrounds whether or not a plebiscite will be held, the results of that plebiscite are non-binding. Instead of influencing public opinion, the aim of Two People is to appeal to law makers in Australia to pledge their support for equality under Australian marriage law.

The campaign is supported by Gillian Triggs, the outgoing president of the Australian Human Rights Commission, alongside George Williams AO, Michael Bradley, and Michelle Painter SC.

According to the annual Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) report, 67 percent of women and 59 percent of men want to see same sex marriage become legal in Australia.

Results of HILDA survey

The campaign is clear that the current law, being exclusionary, is discriminatory – “It offends the principle of equality before the law. We see no arguable basis in law or public policy for this discriminatory law and we want to see it gone. This law is unequal. It discriminates. No legal principle explains why it should. All we seek is to restore equality. That can be achieved with the simplest change.”

The Two People site outlines the exact changes they’re pushing for , and urge lawyers, ex-lawyers, law students, people who work in law firms and legal organisations, barristers, judges, and professors to pledge support for the change in Commonwealth Parliament.

Their pledge:

“We, as members of the Australian Legal Community, call on all members of the Commonwealth Parliament to undo a legal wrong, by voting to amend the Marriage Act 1961 to delete the references to “a man and a woman” and institute marriage equality in Australia.”

At the time of writing, 640 legal professionals have signed the pledge. Join them.

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Larissa is Techly’s Assistant Editor. She watches so much Youtube that she’s narrowed down her favourite categories – goats, innocent dads getting pranked, and toddlers falling over.

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