The Council of the Law Society of NSW acknowledges that there is a diversity of opinion within the profession and the Council on the topic of same-sex marriage, and respects those opinions.

The Council resolved at a meeting on September 14 to reinforce public statements by President of the Law Society of NSW Pauline Wright that the Law Society respects the divergent and deeply held views of individual members on same-sex marriage.

Ms Wright said the Council also urged a respectful debate on the issue of same-sex marriage.

Members of the Law Society are encouraged to vote in the postal survey as their conscience dictates 

"While the Council of the Law Society has expressed its support for the introduction of laws to enable same-sex marriage, it also supports a courteous, considerate and fair debate on this important issue," Ms Wright said.

The Law Society expressed its support for the introduction of laws to enable same-sex marriage in order to address current discrimination and inequality before the law, she said.

"We are committed to ensuring all Australians have the right to equality and non-discrimination," Ms Wright said.

"People should not be treated differently under the law solely because of their sexual orientation or gender identity."

Ms Wright said she consistently emphasized that everyone is entitled to their perspective and no person should be discriminated against or vilified because of their view.

"It is also important the rights we all presently enjoy, including freedom of speech and freedom of religion, should remain unaffected by any proposed laws to enable same-sex couples to enter a civil marriage," she said.

The Council of the Law Society of NSW resolved to participate in a joint statement supporting laws to enable same-sex marriage on August 17.

Media Contact: Marianna Papadakis 02 9926 0288 or 0413 440 or media@lawsociety.com.au

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