• CWA in Victoria voting in favour of marriage equality. (Victorian Country Women's Association)Source: Victorian Country Women's Association
The Victorian branch of the Country Women's Association have voted in favour of marriage equality.
Shami Sivasubramanian

23 May 2016 - 2:29 PM  UPDATED 23 May 2016 - 2:29 PM

The Victorian branch of the Country Women's Association (CWA) has voted in support of marriage equality at a conference held at the weekend.

The CWA's decision stands in contrast to the 94-year-old association's conservative image and defies stereotypes of rural communities as being less accepting of LGBTQI people.

The motion held by the CWA's Social Issues Committee on Saturday was titled "That the CWA of Victoria Inc advocates for equality for all Australians under the Commonwealth Marriage Act".

"As an association of women committed to social justice, we should be advocates for all women whose entitlements and rights are diminished by continuing inequalities under present laws," read the motion.

The organisation will now write to the federal government urging it to legislate in favour of same-sex marriage.

Australian Marriage Equality (AME) thanked the CWA for recognising the importance of this issue in a statement released following the vote.

"This announcement reflects the CWA's continued commitment to ensure every Australian has the same opportunities and is able to reach their full potential," said AME spokesperson Shirleene Robinson.

"We continue to see an increase in community organisations across Australia supporting marriage equality because they want to get behind their families, friends, neighbours, and workmates."

CWA's Facebook page was flooded with messages of encouragement, with several commenters saying they were "proud" to be associated with the organisation. 

"I'm new to the CWA and so glad that they have moved to support marriage equality. Proud to be a member. :)" read one comment.

"This is wonderful! Growing up in a regional community I had friends who tried so hard to convince themselves and others that they weren't gay. This was partly to do with the very real threat of assault. This had a huge toll on them mentally and emotionally. Thank you for taking a stand and making the world a little safer for young gay people in regional and rural communities," read another.

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