Australian Governor-General Bryce backs same-sex marriage
|Quentin Bryce * Public Domain Photo|
By Desmond Rutherford | SYDNEY, New South Wales -- The Governor-General of Australia publicly endorsed publicly same-sex marriage in a landmark speech in Sydney Friday. Quentin Bryce said she hoped Australia might become a nation where "people are free to love and marry whom they choose".
"(...) ... And where perhaps, my friends, one day, one young girl or boy may even grow up to be our nation's first head of state," Bryce said.
Bryce was appointed as Australia's first female governor-general in 2008 by then prime minister Kevin Rudd. The Governor-General is the representative in the Australia for Queen Elizabeth II according to the country's Constitution. The governor-general is President of the Federal Executive Council and Commander-in-Chief of the Australian Defence Forces.
A governor-general's duties include appointing ambassadors, ministers, and judges, giving Royal Assent to legislation, and although the constitution grants the governor-general a wide range of powers, in practice, the Governor-General generally acts only upon the advice of the Prime Minister of other ministers or, in certain cases, Parliament.
While there is no set length for the appointment, most last around five years.
“The Governor-General’s dignified support for marriage equality will be welcomed by the many millions of Australians who support the reform,” Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome, said in a statement. “In particular, it will send a message to older Australians that this is a reform they can embrace because it strengthens relationships, families and marriage.”
“It is the role of the Governor-General to reflect community values, and by supporting marriage equality Quentin Bryce is reflecting the fact that a majority of Australians want same-sex couples to be able to marry,” Croome said adding; “The Governor-General has effectively declared marriage equality to be a litmus test for a fair and inclusive Australia and I think many Australians would agree with her.”