The Kirby Institute is proud to support Australian Marriage Equality, and have formalised our support via the Australian Marriage Equality website. Since its establishment, the Kirby Institute has maintained a strong collaborative relationship with the LGBTI community, and through our ongoing research, we work towards addressing public health issues such as HIV that disproportionately affect the LGBTI community, among other vulnerable populations.
We have embraced the human rights based approach to HIV because it was right to do so, and produced world class research that links marginalisation to higher risks and worse outcomes. Recognition that the violation and infringement of human rights produces poor health outcomes is central to our work. The Kirby Institute employs many academic and professional staff of diverse sexualities, and recognises that the current legal definition of marriage as being limited to being between a man and a woman systematically discriminates against those in same sex relationships who would like their partnerships to have full legal status.
In our view, this issue transcends politics. There may still be some in our community who remain to be convinced, or are even actively opposed, but we believe that marriage equality is as fundamental as racial or gender equality. Just as with these civilisation-defining issues, marriage equality will one day seem so obvious that we will wonder why there was any debate about it. It provides a clear and unequivocal statement that same sex relationships have the same moral and legal validity as heterosexual unions. To fully support the human rights of LGBTI people, it is necessary to support their access to full and legal relationship formalisation in the form of marriage.
We truly believe that learning and academic achievement flourish when all members of the community have their dignity and equality recognised. Marriage equality is the only truly fair way forward and it is important for creating a climate where knowledge, achievement and intellectual output can flourish. We believe that we are on the right side of history, and we have a unique opportunity to demonstrate our support for breaking down one of the last remaining forms of social discrimination.