A rogue Liberal MP and a call to arms from a Liberal senator, has given same-sex marriage supporters – like Appin’s Kristy and Rachel Millers – fresh hope.
Liberal senator Dean Smith is currently drafting a private members’ bill to legalise same-sex marriage.
The changes have the support of Labor MPs however the party doesn’t have the numbers in the lower house, which effectively prevents the bill from passing the first hurdle.
At least four coalition MPs would need to cross the floor and support the bill to progress it though to the senate – where the coalition does not hold a majority.
Earlier this week, Brisbane’s Liberal MP Trevor Evans – who is openly gay – said he supported conscious vote.
One down, three to go.
In March, 2011, Kristy Millers first spoke to the Advertiser about her prospects of legally marrying partner Rachelle.
Four years later, the couple have two kids – four-year-old Nixon and 18-month-old Zahli – but in the eyes of the law, the Millers are still not legally married.
Kristy said she “wouldn’t bet her house” on that situation changing by the end of the year.
“I’ve probably been disappointed too many times. Once bitten twice shy,” she said.
“But right now it doesn’t change my lifestyle. I have a happy, fully functioning family and (network of) friends.
“But the bigger issue is my four-year-old.
“I’d like to think by the time he goes to school (in 2019) that he can say he has a mum and a mummy and they are married.”
Macarthur MP Dr Michael Freelander – a strong supporter of same-sex marriage – was optimistic MPs would vote on the issue by the year’s end.
“I think it’s going to happen. I think they (Liberal MPs like Mr Evans) will do the right thing and I’m willing to bet that,” he said.
“It’s ridiculous that we are having this same argument. It should have been done and dusted.
“It is a human rights issue and it won’t hurt anyone by allowing same-sex marriage.”
In 2001, the Netherlands became the first country to legalise same-sex marriage.
Since then 21 other countries including Belgium, Canada, Denmark and Australia’s neighbours across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand, have followed suit.