The NSW Young Nationals have voted in favour of marriage equality at their annual conference in Corowa, becoming the first youth division of a conservative political party to do so in Australia.
The group says it was concerned to ‘acknowledge the importance of marriage equality to young people in regional Australia’.
The Young Nats quoted a university study showing that young homosexual men living in regional NSW are six times more likely to commit suicide than members of the community as a whole1.
The motion says that a same-sex relationship is equally as important and valid as a heterosexual relationship.
In the early 1970s, the Young Australian Country Party, as the group was then called, passed a motion to legalise homosexual acts between consenting adults in private, ten years ahead of the ultimate passing of legislation on that matter.
The group said the vote ‘continues a proud NSW Young Nats tradition of working within The Nationals to push the envelope in terms of policy, challenging our senior counterparts and leading the debate on important issues to young people in regional NSW.’
1 ‘Rural suicide and same-sex attracted youth: issues, interventions and implications for rural counsellors’, The International Electronic Journal of Rural and Remote Health Research, Education, Practice and Policy, K. Quinn, Deakin University 2003