MQ Law School Community Signs Statement in support of Marriage Equality
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Forty-four members of the Macquarie University Law School community have signed a statement in support of marriage equality.
The members, which include the Acting Dean, lecturers, tutors and other staff, have also committed themselves to ‘creating a safe and inclusive environment’ at the law school.
Holly Doel-Mackaway, a Lecturer at Macquarie Law School and a children’s rights lawyer, said in support of the statement that ‘all children have the right to the same legal recognition of their family unit irrespective of whether their parents are the opposite, or the same sex.’
‘Marriage equality is good for Australia and good for Australia’s children. As a Macquarie Law School academic, I am committed to ensuring my teaching practices are inclusive and based on human rights principles,’ she added.
Senior Lecturer Carolyn Adams is also a co-signatory to the statement.
‘As a teacher and practitioner of human rights law, I see equality and equality before the law as absolutely foundational issues,’ she said.
The members also expressed support for LGBTIQA+ staff and students at Macquarie University.
‘I will be voting ‘yes’ because I do not wish to be tacitly complicit in continuing the status quo,’ said Associate Lecturer Zara Bending.
‘However, I am concerned that despite the expense and harmful rhetoric, an outcome of ‘no’ would mean ‘no’, whereas an outcome of ‘yes’ would mean ‘maybe’,’ she added.
In addition to strongly supporting legislative reform, the 44 members also expressed disappointment in the Federal Parliament’s decision to avoid legislating for marriage equality under the power granted by s 51(xxi) of the Australian Constitution.
The statement further notes that equality before the law is a fundamental human right.
Since the calling of the marriage law postal survey earlier this year, about 90,000 new voters have registered themselves on the electoral roll. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 57.5 percent of ballot papers have been returned so far.
Voters have until Friday 20 October to request a replacement form and until Friday 27 October to post survey forms back.
The result is due to be published on Wednesday 15 November.
Editor’s Note: The original story has been amended to reflect estimates of returned ballots by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, who are administering the postal survey.
If you are a member of the LGBTIQ community (or you know someone who is) and feel you are struggling at any stage, either during the marriage equality postal vote process in the next few months or at any other time, there are many support systems through which you can seek help. The services at Campus Wellbeing are available to students free of charge. Living Proud offer the QLife telephone line: a national counselling and referral service specifically for LGBTIQ people. Headspace also provide free counselling and support services and have a long history of helping LGBTIQ youth, while BeyondBlue have a 24/7 phone line service on 1300 22 46 36.
Finally, the Ally Network at Macquarie University is a group of staff and students who are committed to creating an inclusive and respectful culture at the university for LGBTIQ community members and can provide a contact point on campus for anyone interested in or affected by issues involving sexuality or gender identity.