HISA has joined the growing number of Australian organisations speaking out to support marriage equality. At the time of printing we are one of 2071 organisations that have voiced their support by signing the Australian Marriage Equality open letter. While we acknowledge members will have their own views, collectively we work across the whole range of healthcare and together we champion an individual’s right to equity and access to services. As a healthcare community, we frequently speak out on social issues and speak up for human rights on every level. Marriage equality is no different. It’s about a fair deal for all Australians, and that is something HISA will always stand up for.

OPEN LETTER FROM AUSTRALIAN BUSINESS LEADERS

We, the business, industry and sporting leaders of Australia, write to express our support for Marriage Equality. We support diversity in the workforce and recognise the rights of our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) employees to live and work, free of prejudice and discrimination, with all the essential freedoms enjoyed by other members of our organisations and the broader community. The rights and liberties of all individuals are sacrosanct. They are essential in the creation of a healthy, harmonious and open society.

An equitable society, free of discrimination, also allows all employees to function at their best. Australia is a robust democracy however, we support seeing it treat all its citizens equally. Legalised discrimination in one area allows discrimination to flourish in all areas.

Australians are increasingly supportive of marriage equality, with a recent Crosby Textor survey showing seventy-two percent, believe same sex couples should be allowed to marry. We agree. Of the remaining twenty-eight percent only fourteen percent strongly opposed the proposition.

Globally, over twenty countries have passed laws to allow same sex marriage, including countries that are culturally similar to ours like New Zealand, the United States of America, Canada, and Great Britain. These countries did so with lower support for marriage equality than Australia is seeing right now. On 22 May 2015, the Republic of Ireland held a referendum to sanction same sex marriage. A Yes vote was supported by the Government, all major political parties and the voters themselves. On 26 June 2015, the U.S. Supreme court returned a judgement in favour of legalising same sex marriage across all 50 states.

These two events see Australia isolated amongst countries with English as a first language.

Not only is marriage equality the only truly fair option, it is also a sound economic option given, that a happy workforce is a productive one. To remain competitive and to attract top talent globally organisations – and nations – must create a fair and respectful environment for all. Equality in the workplace works; Discrimination does not.

We support the right for all our employees to have equal opportunities in life. We therefore support marriage equality.