Marriage Equality

ALIA Board statement on marriage equality

On Tuesday 15 August, 2017, ALIA Board members made the following statement regarding the same-sex marriage postal plebiscite. Below are some key facts and dates.

Many of our ALIA Members are part of the LGBTQIA+ community and the ALIA Board of Directors would like to assure them of our continued support through the coming weeks, as the same-sex marriage debate continues. We encourage our Members to exercise their right to vote, and to ensure that library users have access to the information they need to help them understand the issues.

On Friday 22 September, 2017, ALIA Board members updated their statement regarding the same-sex marriage postal plebiscite. 

The ALIA Board agrees that the current Commonwealth legislation dealing with marriage is discriminatory, and that a yes response to the postal survey is required to right this discrimination. At a human level, we regret the divisions that are forming and the impact on the well-being of our Members. We believe the majority of our personal members will support a yes vote and we, as a Board, do so too. 

We continue to encourage ALIA Members to participate in the postal survey; to support our LGBTQIA+ colleagues and clients; and to ensure that library users have access to the information they need to help them understand the issues.

Key dates: 

  • Announced on 10 August, 2017.
  • Australians who have the right to vote, must enrol to do so by 24 August, 2017. 
  • The same-sex marriage ballot papers will begin to arrive via post from 12 September, 2017.
  • The same-sex marriage ballot papers should be returned by 27 October, 2017; and no later than 7 November, 2017.
  • A final result of the postal plebiscite is expected by 15 November, 2017.

Key facts:

  • plebiscite is a national vote that tests whether the majority of Australians support an action on a certain issue. This particular one is being conducted by post.
  • Its estimated that around 14 per cent of young Australians are not enrolled to vote and nationally the percentage of Australians not enrolled to vote is 5 per cent.
  • In the event of a 'yes vote' being derived from the same-sex marriage postal plebiscite, a private members bill to legalise same-sex marriage will be introduced to the house of parliament.
  • The same-sex marriage plebiscite is being conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Here is how they will be conducting and recording the votes.

See the FAIR website for further details.