Foxtel and SBS have joined a list of corporate businesses in a full page ad in The Australian calling for Marriage Equality.
The list includes major banks ANZ, Commonwealth, WestPac, NAB, St.George, Bank of Melbourne plus such brands as Qantas, Telstra, Google, Optus, iiNet, David Jones, ING, P&O Cruises, Seek, H&M, Lush, KPMG, PWC, Marie Claire, Football Federation Australia and Virgin.
It follows the recent referendum in Ireland which voted overwhelmingly for same-sex marriage, and recent polls which indicate 72% of Australians support marriage equality.
This week PM Tony Abbott indicated there should be bi-partisan support for the issue and Cabinet would decide if there would be a free vote on the question of gay marriage.
Last night his sister Christine Forster told ABC’s Lateline, she expects gay marriage will be legal in Australia by the end of the year.
“To think that this reform comes under the prime ministership of Tony Abbott … I think it’s entirely appropriate that it would come under the prime ministership of Tony Abbott,” she said.
“At the end of the day I’m sure he will understand that this is good and fair for everybody and it will be great for Australia.”
Rodney Croome, national convener of Australian Marriage Equality, said in a statement: “I applaud Australia’s business community for its leadership on marriage equality, and for the powerful message it is sending to our federal representatives about moving forward quickly on the reform.
“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.
“The 72 per cent of Australians who support marriage equality will look with pride on those businesses who are reflecting their values, and expect parliament to do the same.”
17:55: SBS Managing Director Michael Ebeid talks about corporates losing staff because they want to live somewhere where their partner is recognised.