Overseas and Australian travellers will converge on Sydney this weekend as the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is celebrated once again, and despite the fact that according to Roy Morgan Research chief executive Michael Levine, 76 per cent of Australians think “gay people should be allowed to marry”, same sex marriage in Australia is still not legal.
The travel industry has been a reasonably vocal sector that has shown support for marriage equality, and this week another travel corporate has thrown its support behind this equal rights issue, with an open letter from Hotels.com provided to Australian Marriage Equality detailing its support.
Janine Middleton, Co-Chair of Australian Marriage Equality said, “We are thrilled to have Hotels.com join over 820 organisations, of all sizes and, from across the country, that have shown support for marriage equality in Australia. These companies understand that equality, in all its forms, is good for staff, who can bring their entire selves to the workplace, good for business and good for the economy.”
Saturday’s Mardi Gras celebrations will bring fun and economic benefits to Sydney and Australia via the local and overseas LGBTI community. Sadly this year the crowds won’t be celebrating marriage equality for all. Let’s hope that celebration is in the not too distant future.
Here is the letter of support for marriage equality in Australia from Hotels.com
March 1, 2016
Re: Marriage Equality in Australia
As Australians and international visitors of all sexual identities come together to celebrate the 2016 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, we wanted to come out and show our support too for marriage equality in Australia.
As one of the world’s leading online accommodation booking websites, with properties ranging from international chains to local B&Bs, Hotels.com knows that love and life comes in all shapes and sizes.
Regardless of gender, race, religion or sexual identity, we support the right of our employees to work and live in an environment free of prejudice and discrimination and enjoy the same freedoms that opposite-sex couples enjoy.
Australians are increasingly supportive of marriage equality, with a recent study showing 72 per cent believe same-sex couples should be allowed to marry. We agree. Globally, around 20 countries have passed laws to allow same-sex marriage, including the US, UK, Ireland, New Zealand and Canada – which did so with less support for marriage equality than Australia right now.
Times have changed. Diversity makes the workplace and the world a better place.
Whether you’re Australian or a visitor down under, we wish you a happy Mardi Gras.
Vice President Asia-Pacific