Supporters attend a marriage equality rally in Sydney, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2016. Supporters of marriage equality are calling on Members of Federal Parliament to pass legislation in Parliament, and avoid a same-sex marriage plebiscite which has been proposed by the Federal Government. (AAP Image/Joel Carrett) NO ARCHIVING
Supporters attend a marriage equality rally in Sydney, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2016. Supporters of marriage equality are calling on Members of Federal Parliament to pass legislation in Parliament, and avoid a same-sex marriage plebiscite which has been proposed by the Federal Government. (AAP Image/Joel Carrett) NO ARCHIVING JOEL CARRETT

Lawyers say plebiscite is contrary to Westminster System

YET another group has joined a chorus of Aussie voices calling for marriage equality.

The Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) has joined almost 90 organisations calling on the Australian Parliament to block the proposed plebiscite and instead engage in a free vote pursuant to law.

The High Court has unanimously stated that marriage equality is permitted under the Australian Constitution.

ALHR's LGBTI Subcommittee Co-Chair, Nicholas Stewart said the move left them in good company.

"It will be divisive, hurtful, wasteful and contrary to the Westminster System of Government,” he said.

"The highest court in our nation has said that parliament has the power to make marriage equal, yet it is proposed that the general populous should somehow have a say on whether a minority should be allowed to marry.

"It is absurd.”

Mr Stewart said he and his Co-Chair, Kathryn Cramp will make a submission on any bill before parliament to ensure marriage equality includes Australians who identify as gender and sex diverse.

The joint statement calls on the Australian Government to follow representative democratic principles and allow a free vote on marriage equality.



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