MULSS declares support for same-sex marriage in Australia
This month, the Melbourne University Law Students' Society (MULSS) Committee, led by the MULSS Queer Portfolio, voted to endorse marriage equality and to advocate for its legalisation in Australia.
This result was championed by MULSS Queer Representatives, James Gray and Katherine Smith. James says that advocating on public issues was a recent but legitimate part of MULSS's activity.
"The MULSS' stated purpose of promoting 'a commitment to social justice' underpins this advocacy. However, until this point, this has always been more directly related to the student body, such as Book Fairy and other social justice programs," he says.
The move underscores MULSS' commitment to tackling Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ) issues in the broader community.
"The Committee felt that same-sex marriage was an issue that justified an extension of this commitment. LGBTIQ discrimination extends beyond campus and the MULSS had a unique capacity to contribute to the push for equality."
It was significant for the Committee that the issue of same-sex marriage is an intrinsically legal one.
"As future members of the legal profession, the MULSS strongly believes its commitment to its LGBTIQ members extends to advocating for reform to achieve this equal treatment and protection under the law."
Equally, the public declaration of support ties back to creating a supportive environment at MLS.
"The MULSS has a strong commitment to creating a supportive and inclusive student community within Melbourne Law School."
In addition to the public declaration of support, the Committee also invited all MULSS members to march, under the MULSS banner, at the Marriage Equality Now! Rally in August – a first for the MULSS.
More than 20 students attended the rally, listening to speeches from Maya Newell (Director of 'Gayby Baby'), Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Leader of the Australian Greens Richard Di Natale.By Blake Connell