Hugh Jackman is among a number of Australian celebrities to have pledged their support to marriage equality proposals.

David Stratton, a film critic and television personality, and Oscar winner Lizzy Gardiner pledged their support for gay couples alongside Jackman this week.

The Australian celebrities signed a marriage equality declaration which reads:

“Marriage should be about love and respect, not discrimination. Australia is at its best when we value equality over prejudice and fear. That’s why we support marriage equality for same-sex couples. Marriage equality will help remove discrimination against same-sex couples and their children.

“It will also benefit marriage by allowing it to embrace more loving committed couples who uphold its values. It’s time for Australia to join the other nations that have benefitted from this important reform.”

Australian Marriage Equality National Convener Alex Greenwich said: “Hugh, David, and Lizzie are all happily married straight supporters of equality.

“They know how important marriage is to a couple and their families, and like most Australians they don’t feel same-sex couples should be denied the meaning and benefits of marriage”.

Jackman has had to deny gay rumours in the past. In December, his wife of 15 years addressed the most recent one.

Deborra-Lee Furness told the New York Post’s Page Six magazine: “It’s kind of tragic that these people have nothing better to do than to gossip about people they don’t know”.

In 2009, the X-Men and Australia actor said: “I’d be happy to go and deny being gay, because I’m not.

“But by denying it, I’m saying there is something shameful about it, and there isn’t anything shameful.”

On growing mainstream support in Australia for marriage equality, Alex Greenwich added: “The message for [Leader of the Opposition] Tony Abbott and the Coalition is that marriage equality is not a left-wing or Greens’ issue, but one that’s embraced by mainstream Australia”.

Film Director and Screenwriter Stephan Elliot, who was behind Priscilla Queen of the Desert and A Few Best Men, recruited the celebrities.

He said: “Australians are more accepting of same-sex couples than ever, it is time our laws reflected this, and this year our politicians will have the opportunity to make a positive change for good by supporting marriage equality.”