Marriage equality advocates have welcomed Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s recent statement that she has “absolutely no concerns” about same-sex unions.
Bishop, who had previously been tight-lipped on the subject, told Channel Ten that she not only supported gay couples’ right to marry, but also backed the proposal to have a plebiscite on the issue, reports ABC News.
“I have absolutely no concerns about it myself, but I know there a lot of people who are deeply concerned about the issue,” Bishop told the hosts of The Project.
“That’s why I think a plebiscite, where the Australian people get to have a vote on it, on an issue as fundamental as this, that goes to the very composition of our community, the way we feel about each other, how we treat each other.
“I think the Australian people should have their say.”
Ms Bishop has previously agreed she is “philosophically not opposed” to same-sex marriage but said her support was reliant on legal safeguards for people who object on personal or religious grounds, reports The Australian.
Advocacy groups around the country welcomed Bishop’s statements. “I think her support for marriage equality will be quite significant,” said Rodney Croome of Australian Marriage Equality.
“It will mean other members of the Liberal Party will be more likely to vote in favour, and I think if it’s put to the people, then we’ll see more Australians in support of the reform, because of the support of Ms Bishop.
“It shows the campaign for equality is working and momentum for reform is unstoppable.”
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