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Marriage equality advocates say the Labor Party must reform its pre-selection process if it is reconnect with mainstream Australians on issues like marriage equality following Louise Pratt's concession today that she will not be re-elected to the Senate.
Ms Pratt, one of the strongest marriage equality advocates in federal parliament, was the lead Labor candidate in Western Australia until a factional deal saw her demoted to second place after anti-equality candidate, Joe Bullock.
Despite Mr Bullock polling fewer below-the-line votes than Ms Pratt, Mr Bullock's pre-election comments attacking the Labor Party and marriage equality played a role in reducing Labor's overall vote, costing Ms Pratt her seat.
Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome, said,
"The 65% of Australians and 75% of Labor voters who support marriage equality expect the Labor Party to pre-select candidates to winnable positions who also support the reform."
"Instead, Labor has failed its principles, it's voters and the majority of Australians by allowing a prejudiced and out-of-touch candidate to poach the seat of a hard-working and much-admired marriage equality supporter."
"Labor must reform its pre-selection processes if it is to reconnect with strong support among mainstream voters for marriage equality."
Mr Croome called on Labor to nominate a replacement for Louise Pratt on the federal parliament's cross-party working group on marriage equality, and urged Ms Pratt to stand again.
"Louise Pratt is one of the most hard working, intelligent, principled and compassionate politicians I have ever had the honour to work with."
"I urge her to stand again for elected office and I urge the Labor Party to make good its mistake by giving her the best chance of election."
In a media conference today Ms Pratt labelled Mr Bullock "deeply homophobic" and "disloyal to the very party he has been elected to represent".
The Labor Party has a policy in favour of marriage equality but allows MPs a conscience vote on the issue.
Polls consistently show 75% or more of Labor voters are marriage equality supporters.
For more information contact Rodney Croome on 0409 010 668.