South Australia’s premier will work to legislate the freedom to marry

A week after the premier of Tasmania, Lara Giddings, said that she would push for the freedom to marry in her state, another Australian leader has announced his support for ending the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage. 

This week, Jay Weatherill, the premier of South Australia, said that he would also support legislation supporting the freedom to marry in his state. While standing on the steps of the state Parliament House, Weatherill announced his intention to support a Greens bill that would extend marriage protections to same-sex couples in South Australia. Weatherill said:

People should be entitled to express their own identity in any way they wish and the law shouldn't become a barrier to prevent them from doing that. So, from my perspective, it's a simple question of the dignity of the individual.  

In recent months, Australian marriage advocates have been intensifying their years-long push toward legislation that would grant same-sex couples the freedom to marry, overturning the discriminatory Marriage Amendmen Act, which has banned marriage for same-sex couples for the last eight years. Earlier this month, Australian Marriage Equality released news of a poll finding that a large majority of Australians support the freedom to marry, as well as a wonderful video spotlighting why marriage matters to same-sex couples and their families.

The announcements from Giddings and Weatherill came shortly after Freedom to Marry's founder and President Evan Wolfson visited Australia and New Zealand to speak about the importance of marriage for all loving and committed couples. On Tuesday, August 7, Wolfson delivered a speech at the University of New South Wales in Sydney about the history of the marriage movement in the United States. Wolfson said:

Support is growing amongst young people of every stripe but also among self-identified evangelicals and conservatives. Even seniors, even the most religious. We know we have the generational momentum to keep fueling those victories.

Australians, too, are gaining momentum with these significant new announcements from Giddings and Weatherill. The country is certainly moving closer and closer toward understanding that same-sex couples need the same protections for their relationships and their families that different-sex couples receive. 

Read more about the freedom to marry internationally HERE.