Young Nats challenge their senior counterparts on the marriage equality debate

The New South Wales Young Nationals have voted in favour of marriage equality, becoming the first youth division of a conservative political party to do so in Australia.

The motion states that a same sex relationship is equally as important and valid as a heterosexual relationship. The motion was passed at their Annual Conference in Corowa, with the NSW Young Nationals acknowledging the fact that a young homosexual man living in regional NSW is six times more likely to commit suicide than members of the community as a whole. It has advocated the importance of marriage equality in order to decrease discrimination and risk.

In the early 1970s, the Young Australian Country Party, as the NSW Young Nationals were then, passed a motion to legalise homosexual acts between consenting adults in private, ten years ahead of the ultimate passing of legislation on that matter.

This outcome continues a NSW Young Nats tradition of working within The Nationals to push the envelope in terms of policy. Coming weeks after the Coalition denied its parliamentary members a free vote on marriage equality, the NSW Young Nationals are challenging their senior counterparts and leading the debate on important issues to young people in regional NSW.