Curtin signs up for marriage equality

Curtin University Guild 2015 queer officer Sarah Franz. Picture: Matt Jelonek        www.communitypix.com.au   d439213
Curtin University Guild 2015 queer officer Sarah Franz. Picture: Matt Jelonek        www.communitypix.com.au d439213

CURTIN University has shown its support for equal rights by signing an open letter officially endorsing its position on marriage equality in Australia.

The Bentley-based University signed an open letter via national organisation Australian Marriage Equality’s website.

Curtin Student Guild queer officers Sarah Franz (21) and Rey Jabonero (20) both welcomed the move.

Mr Jabonero has been campaigning for equal rights since coming out as gay at the age of 15.

“The push for marriage equality has been a long and arduous fight for the civil rights of people to love whomever they want, no matter their gender identity,” he said.

“When Curtin became the second university to endorse marriage equality, I felt proud to be a student and a member of the university.

“To me it was not only an endorsement, it was a statement of acceptance.”

Ms Franz said she joined the fight because people should have the right to marry whomever they loved, regardless of gender.

“When conservative countries like Ireland pass a referendum for marriage equality, you know you are behind the times,” she said.

“It’s something that most English-speaking countries have already dealt with and moved on; it’s time we did the same.”

Curtin corporate relations and development vice-president Val Raubenheimer said Pride in Diversity had recognised Curtin as the highest-ranked university for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex (GLBTI) inclusion for three consecutive years.

“Signing up to the open letter sends a clear message to students, staff and the community that Curtin is prepared to act in accordance with its commitment to valuing diversity, equity and inclusion, and to show leadership in promoting social justice in the broader community,” Ms Raubenheimer said.

“Australian universities have an important role to play in promoting inclusion and tolerance.

“We support diversity in the higher education sector and recognise the rights of our GLBTI students and employees to learn, live and work, free of prejudice and discrimination.”