Prime Minister Tony Abbott is under pressure to legalise marriage equality
Over fifty of Australia’s biggest businesses have come out in support of allowing same-sex couples to legally marry.
The corporations took out a full-page open letter in Friday’s The Australian newspaper, announcing that “corporate Australia supports marriage equality”.
The companies behind the letter include the likes of ANZ bank, Bank of Melbourne, Deloitte, EY, Google, H&M, Mastercard, MTV, Qantas and Virgin Money, among many others.
They said that an equitable society, free of discrimination, “allows all employees to function at their best”, and that “legalised discrimination in one area allows discrimination to flourish in all areas.”
Noting that polls show that 72 percent of Australians back same-sex marriage, the companies stated that, “We support the right for all our employees to have equal opportunities in life. We therefore support marriage equality.”
Rodney Croome, National Convener of Australian Marriage Equality, applauded the move by Australia’s business community for “the powerful message it is sending to our federal representatives about moving forward quickly on the reform.”
He added that, “The business community’s support for marriage equality reflects the importance it places on treating all staff and customers with equal respect, and of maintaining Australia’s positive reputation overseas”.
While Australia is widely viewed as a gay-friendly nation, gay and lesbian couples continue to be denied the right to marriage.
Ahead of plans to introduce same-sex marriage bills in the federal Parliament in the coming days and weeks, the government is under growing pressure to allow a “free vote” among MPs on the issue.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has stated that he does not support marriage equality, despite having a lesbian sister, Christine Forster, who is engaged to a woman and has publicly chastised him for his backward stance.