Leader of the Labor party Bill Shorten has today introduced a new marriage equality bill in Parliament. 
The ‘Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2016‘ is a private member bill by Shorten, aiming to bypass the ‘expensive and divisive‘ plebiscite currently being pushed forward by the Liberal party, and instead legalise same-sex marriage in a parliamentary vote. 

Shorten presented the bill in the House of Representatives this morning, saying, 
“Marriage is about love, not about gender. It’s up to us to summon the courage and show the decency to make this happen. 

It’s up to us to prove the Parliament can lead and keep faith with the people. It’s up to us to make marriage equality a reality.”
Watch below:

Labor Deputy Leader and Member for Sydney Tanya Plibersek seconded the motion, posting this image to Twitter:

Shorten spoke of the severe harm the plebiscite will cause to the LGBTQIA community – particularly amongst young gay and queer people who need support, not to be surrounded by an aggressive and bigoted ‘No’ campaign:

He also reiterated the legislating is the job of Parliament; as well as exposing young LGBTQIA Aussies to damaging hate speech and bullying, it’s also a waste of tax payer dollars and fundamental failure of a governing body. 
Shorten also requested that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull support the bill, due to his previous (but recently quiet) support for marriage equality. 

Just after the Labor Bill was brought into Parliament, another cross-party marriage equality bill was presented by Deputy Leader of the Greens Adam Bandt, co-sponsored by independents Andrew Wilkie and Cathy McGowan
“It’s time we end discrimination…once and for all,” Bandt told the house. “If a free vote were held in this room now, a bill would pass.”

We will update this story as more information arises from Canberra
Source: Twitter. 
Photo: Mark Metcalfe / Getty.