To: Malcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister
No plebiscite - equality is union business
Equality is union business.
We, the undersigned union members, agree that:
1. We support marriage equality.
Our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) brothers and sisters deserve the same rights as any other Australians, at work and at home. They have the same right to happiness as every other union member and to have their loving, committed relationships treated equally in Australian law.
2. We oppose the proposal to hold a plebiscite.
Unions fight for a fair and just society for everyone and we stand for the principle that equality before the law should never be a matter of opinion or subject to a popular vote.
3. We oppose any proposal to water down anti-discrimination laws.
Unions fought for laws that give every Australian the right to be treated fairly by their employer, their government and by business. By removing that protection from one group in our community, everyone is put at risk. Touch one, touch all.
We stand united in our support for our LGBTI brothers and sisters.
Why is this important?
Union members work hard every day to end discrimination in Australian workplaces but we cannot win that fight until we end discrimination in all Australian laws. That includes the law that currently bans same-sex couples from getting married.
This civil law was changed in 2004 to deny loving and committed same-sex couples marriage equality. And just as politicians did in 2004, the Turnbull Government should now put this to a free vote in Parliament without resorting to a costly, divisive plebiscite the outcome of which they have already said they will not be bound by.
They should also not change our anti-discrimination laws to allow people and companies to refuse to do business with same-sex couples, as is proposed.