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Facebook joins marriage equality debate in Australia

Australians have never been so ready for change when it comes to marriage equality.


Research firm Roy Morgan found in 2011 that more than 68 per cent of people support same-sex marriage, compared to just 38 per cent in 2004.

It’s become such a heated topic that even Facebook has taken notice of the issue.

Same-sex marriage is one of the most talked about issues among Australia’s 14 million Facebook users, says Facebook director of policy for Australia Mia Garlick.

More: Lesbian wedding photo sparks marriage equality debate

This has resulted in Facebook partnering up with Australian Marriage Equality to create a profile photo feature which allows people to show their support for marriage equality by adding a frame around their profile with the words “I heart marriage equality.”

“We’ve been working with our mates at Facebook to make sure marriage equality is front and centre this year,” AME shared on its Facebook page on Sunday.

“You can help this happen by updating your profile pic right now to show solidarity and support. It’s easy: just click ‘try It’ at the bottom of the photo below.”

Marriage equality in Australia would mean that same-sex couples are given legal equality.

Marriage documents would allow same-sex couples to prove their rights in an emergency and in the legal protection of children. It would also set a precedent for equality. Studies have show that a ban on same-sex marriage has resulted in more discrimination for the community.

“Surveys have consistently found that same-sex attracted people experience unacceptably high levels discrimination in the workplace, discrimination in other aspects of their lives including at school and in their families, and hate-motivated assault,” says the Australian Marriage Equality website.

While Facebook showed support for the U.S. Supreme Court backing of marriage equality in the United States last year with its rainbow flag profile feature, this is the first time it has supported an issue specifically targeted at Australian users.

People are using the tool to showcase their views in the hope of inspiring political change.

“This has made my year. Well done Facebook and Australian Marriage Equality,” commented Phil Browne.

“I selected NEVER to remove it (until our govt represents the people and changes the law),” he said.

More: Tasmania weighs in on same-sex marriage — and its position surprised us

“I am married, and everyone regardless of sex, race, religion deserves to be happy,” says Debra Dosen.

“I have never seen how someone else’s relationship, regardless of what it is can affect others. We need to allow everyone the right to get married.”

Lara Ryan, a mother who sadly lost her partner this year, has shed light on the challenges couples face if their marriage is not legally recognised.

“I had to yell out in a busy, crazy emergency room ‘She is my wife, I know it’s not legal but she is my wife!'” Ryan said in a post that has since been shared more than 10,000 times in the last 24 hours.

“Because we were never political, we just did our thing, did our life our way and tried to live by example to shift peoples hearts rather than pushing agendas.

“BUT the amount of freaking paper work I am having to do to secure mine and my children’s future welfare is just ridiculous when all it would take is one marriage certificate.”

Show your support for marriage equality by clicking the “Try It” button underneath AME’s Facebook profile image.

What are your thoughts on marriage equality? Let us know.

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