Maurice Blackburn to provide pro bono advice for same-sex marriage plebiscite or postal vote vilification cases

8 August 2017
Social justice law firm Maurice Blackburn Lawyers has today again re-stated its commitment to provide pro bono legal advice in cases of vilification arising from any same-sex marriage plebiscite or postal vote.

Maurice Blackburn head of Social Justice Jennifer Kanis said it was deeply disappointing that the Federal Government had again failed to act on a free vote in the Parliament on same-sex marriage – instead opting to pursue a failed plebiscite or postal vote process that risked significant hurt for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) community.

“We remain very concerned about the potentially divisive impacts of any plebiscite or postal vote on same-sex marriage, and like hundreds of people right around Australia we are disappointed to see that the Federal Government has again failed to take decisive action on this important issue,” Ms Kanis said.

“That’s why we have again today reaffirmed our commitment to stand with the LGBTI community in supporting same-sex marriage in Australia, including restating our offer to provide pro bono legal advice to anyone who has clearly suffered vilification as a result of any plebiscite or postal vote.

“The best way to deliver marriage equality is through a free vote in the Parliament, and to again see the Federal Government try to go down the failed path of a plebiscite or worse still a voluntary postal vote is not only deeply insulting for the LGBTI community, but also risks causing significant and unnecessary hurt.

“There are laws in a number of states and territories that prohibit vilification on grounds of sexuality, including in the workplace, in public and in obtaining goods and services. Our firm stands ready to assist anyone who has clearly been vilified through any plebiscite or postal vote process in breach of these laws.

“It is well past time that the Federal Government acted to ensure same-sex marriage becomes a reality – we must have a free Parliamentary vote now to deliver long overdue equality for LGBTI Australians,” she said.

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