Australian MPs receive 1 million emails asking for equal marriage

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

MPs in Australia have received a deluge of more than a million emails, calling for a free vote to be held on same-sex marriage.

Liberal Democratic Senator David Leyonhjelm announced earlier this week that he is planning to bring forward his backbench Freedom to Marry Bill – which is the latest in a string of bills to attempt to introduce same-sex marriage.

However, there are fears that the ruling Liberal party under Prime Minister Tony Abbott will close ranks and oppose the measure, despite overwhelming public support.

Ahead of the bill coming forward, 7,634 Australians sent emails to all 134 Liberal and National members, through the lobbying feature on Australian Marriage Equality’s website – meaning a total of 1,022,956 messages were sent.

AME director Rodney Croome said: “The large number of Australians who have sent emails to their federal government members reflects strong majority support for a marriage equality free vote.

“It’s time for the Liberal and National parties to live up to their principle of individual freedom by allowing their parliamentary members the freedom to vote for marriage equality.

“We understand receiving so many individual emails is a problem for members and their staff so we decided to pack them into PDF files and send them all at once.

“I hope members appreciate our courtesy and repay it by acknowledging this strong swell of community support for a free vote.”

He also questioned whether lobbying emails sent by Christian groups were genuine, saying: “We have been told by observers in Parliament House that the [Australian Christian Lobby’s] emails arrive like clockwork, without any peaks or troughs, suggesting at least some are being automatically generated.”