South Sydney Rabbitohs star Thomas Burgess (Pic: Instagram)
Australia’s National Rugby League (NRL) has joined a growing list of companies and organisations calling for the legalisation of same-sex marriage.
The NRL last week wrote a letter to the Australian Marriage Equality lobby group to put its position on record.
“One of the NRL’s core values is inclusiveness and we have put in place practices and policies to support and recognise the rights of our LGBTI community,” said NRL Chief Operating Officer Suzanne Young.
“Accordingly, the NRL supports marriage,” she confirmed, noting that for the past three years the league’s welfare and education programs have addressed the issue of homophobia in the sport.
The support was welcomed by Australian Marriage Equality National Director, Rodney Croome.
“The NRL’s stance reflects growing momentum for marriage equality across all sections of Australian society,” he said.
South Sydney Rabbitohs star Thomas Burgess told The Sydney Morning Herald that he fully agrees with the league’s stance.
“It’s ignorant and old-fashioned [to think] if you’re male you can only love a female,” the 23-year-old said. “Nowadays, anyone can love anyone. And people just need to get over it.”
In May, over fifty of Australia’s biggest businesses took out a full-page open letter in The Australian newspaper, announcing that “corporate Australia supports marriage equality.”
More than 300 other Australian entities, including the Football Federation of Australia and the Australian Football League (AFL), have since joined the list of marriage equality supporters.
While Australia is widely viewed as a gay-friendly nation, gay and lesbian couples continue to be denied the right to marriage.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s government, which has consistently opposed marriage equality, is under growing pressure to allow a “free vote” among MPs on the issue.