AFL players call for vote on gay marriage

Benita Kolovos
Bulldog Liam Picken is calling on politicians to deliver marriage equality for same-sex couples.

Aussie rules stars have called on politicians to deliver marriage equality for same-sex couples by agreeing to a vote in federal parliament.

It is time to stop playing politics and push for a conscience vote in Canberra, say the players who gathered in Melbourne to join forces with the Equality Campaign.

"We need to stick up for everyone's rights... this is a basic human right," Bulldog Liam Picken said.

"We've got a lot of (gay) friends and family (so) hopefully, it happens."

Equality Campaign chief executive Tiernan Brady says amid all the political banter it is easy to forget what the fight is for.

"This is about real people... all they want to do is get on with their lives the same as everyone else," he said.

The push comes as a growing number of government MPs are pressing for a conscience vote in parliament, instead of a plebiscite as promised in the 2016 election.

West Australian Liberal senator Dean Smith is working on a marriage equality bill while his lower house colleagues Trevor Evans, Tim Wilson and Warren Entsch have been discussing options with colleagues.

"It's clear for the first time in this campaign that marriage equality is within reach" Human Rights Law Centre director Anna Brown said.

The potential to deliver fairness and equality for same sex couples is exciting, she says.