By Jessica Watson
Upper House Greens MP Lynn MacLaren has introduced the first Same-Sex Marriage Bill into the West Australian Parliament.
Lynn MacLaren believes this will be the first gay marriage bill in Australia to pass a Federal Government challenge.
With the expert help and advice of University of NSW Professor George Williams, a Constitutional Lawyer, they have drafted the bill so that it will operate alongside the current Federal Marriage Act without crossing into its jurisdiction.
Lynn MacLaren and George Williams held a forum at Murdoch University on Wednesday to discuss the constitutionality of the Same-Sex Marriage Bill and how they hope to address the equality issue state by state.
“It is at least arguable in the High Court to say that, well the Federal Marriage Act regulates marriage between a man and a woman, if you set up a form of marriage which can only be between people of the same-sex then there is no necessary inconsistency,” sad Professor Williams.
Both Lynn MacLaren and George Williams explained that it is not easy to achieve but that it is possible.
‘People will use the law as an excuse… and they will use it as a weapon or a tool to try to shut people up and make you go away,” said Lynn MacLaren.
“Why I chose to work on this… is because people in the LGBTI community, their friends and their family do not deserve to live in a world where they are discriminated against.”
“I think that it is clear that one Bill amended at a Federal level would be great, but it is whether the federal members of parliament want to do that, whether the political will is there under a Tony Abbott-led government.”
“We are at the place where we are trying to convince enough people in the state house that this matters,” she said.
Lynn MacLaren is calling on members of the public to call their local MP’s and get them on track because she says the Bill is not a side issue – it does matter.
Further information about Marriage Equality can be found here.
Below listen to Lynn MacLaren and George Williams at the forum.