Less talk, more action on marriage equality: Valley couple
FOR same-sex couples across Australia, Bill Shorten's members bill proposing a change to the definition of marriage from a "man and a woman" to "two people" is the first major step in the right direction.
But local business-owners and couple Antony Perring and David Barnier say Shorten's proposal was nothing but a political stunt in an effort to gain political mileage.
"Politically I think it may be a little soon to be introducing this bill, especially on his own," Mr Perring said. "It is disappointing that someone is making political mileage out of an issue that is personal for many people in the Australian public.
"Both major parties need to come together and make a joint decision for the betterment of Australia, and the sooner the better.
"This is a non-issue; I don't think it needs any more discussion.
"Lets be honest, the fact that a same-sex couple should be able to marry should not be an issue we talk about when we have real issues like asylum seekers, refugees and domestic violence all happening."
The Clarence Valley LGBTIQ Inter-Agency believes Shorten's members bill will push the discussion of marriage equality in the right direction following the recent referendum in Ireland.
"Anything that encourages human rights is a positive thing," inter-agency spokeswoman Madeleine Gallagher said. "This is another step in the right direction for equality for the gay and lesbian community.
"Even if it doesn't succeed this time, it has put the issue in the spotlight again and keeps the conversation flowing, which is such an important part of change."
But Mr Perring says the time for communication has been and gone.
"While I am firmly on the side of getting marriage equality, it is boring that it is still an issue talked about.
"My impatience is just growing with these politicians.
"It is not a discussable issue anymore, let's just do it."
Mr Shorten's bill was tabled yesterday and is under review in Parliament.
"The time's right for marriage equality, the debate has been had," he said.