MUA says Parliament should do its job and vote on marriage equality without a costly, divisive plebiscite

MUA National Council has reaffirmed its support for marriage equality,  passing a resolution at National Council that the matter should be dealt with by the Parliament now without the need for a costly and divisive plebiscite.

The Turnbull Government finally released its draft bill on same-sex marriage reform late yesterday, with the Labor caucus today deciding to oppose the legislation to establish the nationwide vote.

The Coalition’s bill was immediately criticised by same-sex groups for including reforms that would reduce anti-discrimination protections for same-sex couples.

The bill goes further than expected by giving non-religious celebrants the right to refuse to work with same-sex couples, religious bodies and organisations would also be able to deny gay couples “facilities, goods or services” for things that are only “incidentally” linked to the marriage.

Rights group Just Equal points out that “these exemptions would allow instances of discrimination against same-sex couples which are currently illegal”.

The MUA National Council resolution was proposed by National Women's Liaison Officer Mich-Elle Myers and passed unanimously.

"The Maritime Union of Australia is a proud supporter of Marriage Equality,” the resolution says.

"The MUA national council believes Marriage equality should be a right for all Australians.

"We also reject the Turnbull Federal Governments proposal for and expensive and divisive plebiscite.

"When marriage equality was finally achieved through this means in other countries the fallout and community division and persecution of members of the LGBTQI community was enormous.

"This is not something we want to see happen in a modern and progressive country such as Australia.

"A marriage equality bill should be passed through parliament without opposition for us to be a true and respectful society.

"We believe that this legislation for marriage equality should be passed through the parliamentary process without delay."