March 21, 2017

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) would like to warmly thank the business chiefs who have shown leadership by standing up for the human rights of LGBTI Australians and voiced their support for marriage equality.

The realisation of human rights requires courageous and strong voices from all sections of the community, including the corporate sector. It is strongly encouraging and very exciting to see the business world leading the way internationally on the realisation of human rights with strong and broad endorsement of the 2011 United Nations Guiding Principles (UNGPs) on Business and Human Rights and its Respect, Protect and Remedy framework.

We are very disappointed and concerned to note that some conservative politicians have attacked you and suggested that corporate Australia should not have a voice on human rights and engage in supporting LGBTI marriage equality.

We don’t have to tell you that the right to marry one’s partner is a human right that should not be exclusive to heterosexuals. Australia is now lagging behind the Western world in respect of LGBTI marriages and your organisation, like many others, has rightly spoken out in support of marriage equality.

ALHR is grateful for any corporate citizen that values LGBTI Australians and their families and has the conviction to stand up and call on the Federal Government to ensure we can all marry the person we love.

The leadership of the business world in promoting and protecting human rights is indispensable to a global reality where human rights realisation for the majority becomes a lived reality.

Yours faithfully,

Benedict Coyne,

President ALHR

Kerry Weste,

Vice President ALHR

 Nicholas Stewart,

Co-Chair of ALHR LGBTI Subcommittee

Kathryn Cramp,

Co-Chair of ALHR LGBTI Subcommittee

ALHR was established in 1993 and is a national association of Australian solicitors, barristers, academics, judicial officers and law students who practise and promote international human rights law in Australia. ALHR has active and engaged National, State and Territory committees and a secretariat at La Trobe University Law School in Melbourne. Through advocacy, media engagement, education, networking, research and training, ALHR promotes, practices and protects universally accepted standards of human rights throughout Australia and overseas.