POLITICS

Marriage Equality Postcards Delivered To MPs On Eve Of Parliament Showdown

'Love is the answer. Let people follow their hearts'.

07/08/2017 3:34 PM AEST | Updated 07/08/2017 3:34 PM AEST
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As the federal parliament hurtles toward yet another showdown over marriage equality this week, politicians on all sides have been inundated with postcards from ordinary Australians begging for the laws to change.

The Liberal Party's special meeting on Monday afternoon, where the government will again debate its policy on same sex marriage, will kick off a week in Canberra where the issue is set to dominate parliament. Five "renegade" government MPs have said they want moves made on marriage equality, sparking speculation that they could team up with Labor to force some progress in parliament, while the government is still floating its postal plebiscite plan.

Amidst the debate and furore, Labor MP Andrew Leigh shared with HuffPost Australia the many dozens of postcards his office had received as part of a campaign from The Equality Campaign pushing politicians to support the reforms.

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"My office has been overwhelmed with correspondence from people in my electorate calling for Parliament to make marriage equality a reality," he said.

"These are real people facing the real struggle of having to travel overseas to make their commitment to each other legal, of wanting their friends and family to able to tie the knot in their hometown, of wanting to show the world that their own country acknowledges their love for each other."

The postcards are part of an Equality Campaign push in partnership with Ben and Jerry's ice cream (which hit headlines earlier this year after a stunt banning people from ordering two scoops of the same flavour ice cream until marriage equality was legalised), supplied in stores and then delivered to local politicians.

Leigh shared a number of the postcards with HuffPost Australia, with constituents asking for federal parliament to legalise marriage equality. The messages range from the sweet and heartfelt ("love is the answer, let people follow their hearts" and "why should my best friend be denied a simple right?") to the more blunt and direct ("love is love fam", "love is all you need, change the law now").

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Leigh said his office had received "many dozens" of postcards, with many other politicians around the country likely to have been sent a similar number.

"Making same-sex marriage legal won't weaken the strength of traditional marriages like my own, but it will give many same-sex Australians the opportunity to make that greatest commitment to one another," Leigh said.

"A free vote is the fastest, least expensive, least harmful way to achieve marriage equality. It's time for Malcolm Turnbull to stand up and do what is right. Just get this done."

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