Today, the Australian government will start sending roughly 14 million voters a postal survey asking whether they should legalize marriage equality nationwide. Though the final vote will be non-binding, the result will send a powerful message to legislators about the people’s wishes.
Even better, Australians living, working and traveling overseas have multiple ways to participate and could help tip the country’s vote in same-sex couples’ favor.
How to participate in the plebiscite if you’re an Aussie living abroad
According to The Equality Campaign, Australia’s pro-marriage equality group, the Australian Government has made provisions for Australians outside of the country to participate. In a press release, they explained:
The options are online and phone voting by obtaining a secure access code from the 25th of September by calling +61 2 6252 5262 or by asking trusted person back in Australia to complete the survey on their behalf. People who have an overseas postal address on the Electoral Roll will be posted a letter containing their Secure Access Code.
More information is available at www.marriagesurvey.abs.gov.au/overseas
Right now, Australia doesn’t offer marriage to gay people. Several Australian states recognize same-sex marriages conducted in other countries, but the nation’s federal government still recognizes the institution as only being between a man and a woman.
Aussies living and working abroad could decide the fate of marriage
Alex Greenwich from the Equality Campaign said:
More than a million Australians live overseas and these could be the votes that decide the outcome of the postal survey. Especially the large numbers of Australians currently in the United States.
Whether it’s voting over the phone, online, or getting a friend or loved one to fill in the survey on your behalf, Aussies overseas have a critical role in ensuring we win.
The postal survey gives everyone the ability to vote for our national values of fairness and equality, and to vote for your friends, family members and loved ones.
Over 650 companies support marriage equality in Australia (including Ben and Jerry’s) because they know it’s the best way to attract and keep the best talent. Studies have also shown that marriage equality improves the health of LGBTQ people, making marriage a smart choice for Australia, both financially and medically.
Featured image by RobertDodge via iStockAustralia marriage equality