Peter Furness
Peter Furness

Labor’s refusal to allow same-sex marriage is expected to further impact Lindsay Tanner’s hopes for re-election.

Australian Marriage Equality (AME) has begun distributing flyers to households throughout the electorate of Melbourne highlighting Labor’s support for the current ban on same-sex marriages.

AME National Secretary, Peter Furness, said that supporters of marriage equality are frustrated with the ALP’s refusal to support full legal equality for same-sex couples. “When it comes to marriage equality, Labor has ignored reasoned arguments, human rights principles, overwhelming popular opinion and the heartfelt pleas of ordinary Australian families, but it can’t ignore concerned voters in key seats”, Mr Furness said.

“We are sending Labor a strong message that there is a price to pay for pandering to religious bigots and for opposing the equal human rights of gay and lesbian Australians. Senior Labor figures have told us they will only take marriage equality seriously when they see constituents taking it seriously enough to change their vote. We are now following that advice.”

The inner-city seat of Melbourne is considered to have one of the highest gay populations of any electorate in the nation and has become the nation’s first Labor/Green marginal seat.

“Given his electorate, Lindsay Tanner should be one of Australia’s strongest advocates for full equality, but instead of going in to bat for his many gay and straight constituents who support equality Tanner has chosen to rigidly toe the party line”, Mr Furness said. “Tanner need only look to State MP Bronwyn Pike to see a senior Labor MP, representing the same area, who has had the courage to speak out against this injustice”