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Australia says yes to same sex marriage

22 February 2018, Action for Change

It’s a step forward for equal rights and the beginning of the end for discrimination against same-sex couples in Australia.

Tim Norton explain why we’re celebrating today’s result at Save the Children.

On 13 September, the Marriage Law Postal Survey began to mail to voters across Australia. It asked one question.

Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?

After three months of voting, the results are finally in – and the answer? A resounding yes. For too long, gay couples have been discriminated against by our country’s marriage laws. Today, Australians have sent a clear message that this should change: we are all equal, and we should all have the same rights under the law.

Human rights are at the core of what we do and stand for at Save the Children, and that is why we’re celebrating today. Children should not have to wonder why their parents are not allowed to marry. Young gay people should be able to grow up with the same rights as everyone else. Everyone should be able to marry the person they love if they want to – it’s a fundamental freedom.

The toxic nature of this debate has harmed children and young people who may be struggling with their own sexual identity. It is our hope that the ‘yes’ vote today brings some comfort. Australia has made it clear they are as valuable, as deserving and as welcome in our country as everyone else.

Today, we have taken a step forward for human rights and equality under the law. Today, equality wins.

Tim Norton is the Head of Campaigns for Save the Children Australia.

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