Australia can't wait any longer for same-sex marriage

The Australian Greens will fight to reform Australia's outdated marriage laws in the new Parliament, and will keep up pressure on the old parties to recognise the marriage rights of same-sex couples, according to Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.

Senator Hanson-Young, Greens spokesperson on Sexuality and Gender Identity, says the Greens are committed to re-introduce the Marriage Equality Bill in the new Parliament and will do everything they can to achieve a conscience vote on the issue.

"After five weeks of campaigning, one thing is clear - neither Tony Abbott nor Julia Gillard can escape the fact that the Australian public has left them behind on same-sex marriage,'' Senator Hanson-Young said.

"Wherever they appear on the campaign trail, people are asking the simple question - when will you allow LGBTI Australians to have the same right to marry the one they love as every other Australian?

"Both leaders are giving the same tired response, but there's an undeniable truth. The fact that people keep asking you the question means they don't like your answer.

"It's not good enough any more to fall back on outdated definitions of marriage, or to cite cultural, religious or historical views to deny people's rights.''

The Greens have led the campaign to amend the Marriage Act to allow same-sex marriage. Polls have shown 60 per cent of Australians support marriage equality, and the issue is not going away.

"We are either equal, or we are not.  Labor and the Coalition's message is that same-sex couples are not equal when it comes to marriage,'' Senator Hanson-Young said.

"Unlike the old parties, the Greens are listening to the call for change. We will do everything we can to amend the Marriage Act in the new parliament. Same-sex couples have waited long enough.''