Friends of the Earth statement on marriage equality

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A person's gender and sexuality should not affect their access to marriage in Australia, nor should it impact their human rights in any other way.

Friends of the Earth stands in solidarity with the LGBTQI+ community in the face of this attack on your rights. We also recognise that there are many other significant struggles that LGBTQI+ identifying people face daily because of your gender or sexual identity.

We condemn the government's postal vote that will be both non-binding and non-compulsory. We believe the postal vote provides a platform for hate speech and violence towards the queer community and we are deeply concerned about the impact it will have for our staff, volunteers, members, friends and the broader community.

We recognise that legitimising debate around marriage equality will place the LGBTQI+ first nations peoples, refugees, homeless, and others who already face marginalisation within our society at greater risk. Equal rights should not be up for debate.

It is our position that the government should allow the Coalition members of parliament to participate in a conscience vote on marriage equality. We are angered by the Government’s callous choice to initiate this postal vote, ignoring the wishes of LGBTQI+ community who are all too aware of the hatred and bigotry this plebiscite will empower.

Friends of the Earth has always fought for social justice and we are working toward a sustainable and equitable future in a way that empowers individuals and communities. We remain committed to providing a safe and welcoming space to all members of our community. We welcome those in the LGBTQI+ community who would like a friendly space to organise from.

To those of you who are experiencing pain, isolation or alienation as a result of this harmful process, please know that our doors are always open and that you will be treated with respect and dignity in this space.

We recognise that marriage is a religious institution that is not universally desired or respected by either the queer or the broader community. However, we also recognise that this postal vote is not simply about marriage; it is about the right of all people to live in safety and without fear, regardless of their gender or sexuality.

We further acknowledge the continued invisibility of our trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming siblings in this debate. 

Whilst we strongly condemn a postal vote on this matter, if it goes ahead, we will be voting yes loudly.

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