House debates

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Bills

Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017; Consideration in Detail

3:55 pm

Photo of Bob KatterBob Katter (Kennedy, Katter's Australian Party) Share this | Hansard source

I never bought into this debate throughout it all because I thought it was totally irrelevant. If you live together, you are married automatically. The courts have decided that. Whether you're man and man, or man and woman, whether you like it or not, you're married in a legal sense. If there's going to be no change, then why this great hullabaloo, with $122 million and the whole time of the Parliament of Australia spent on this issue? If you want to see the judgement of the people, you should've been at the ballot boxes, where I was, during the Queensland elections. Both parties' votes are down in the low 30s. They are reaching the lowest levels ever recorded by either party in their history. Congratulations! Keep going in the direction you're going. We spent the year on this, which makes no difference, as far as I can see, to anything, but when I came down here, every single proposal for protection of religious freedoms has been voted down today. If the local association of LBGTs, or whatever the hell the words are, want to hire a church hall—no, I seriously have no idea what it is, and I'm not going to spend any time finding out either, because you'll probably have changed it between now and then.

I have throughout my life seen the rule of the mob and the intimidation of people, and I hope that my children and grandchildren can stand up to the mob and are not intimidated by them. When I was at university, we had to stand up to the mob that were running around waving Mao Zedong little red books. I had to ask some of my colleagues from university days—some of them were called then 'extreme lefties'; I think I might have been one of them, I don't know—'Did we really run around with Mao Zedong little red books?' It turns out that he's arguably the greatest monster in human history. He's responsible for 48 million deaths. You can get the pictures from the university demonstrations in my day—the rule of the mob, the rule of young people who are very good and positively minded, but they're young. I could quote Locke, I could quote de Tocqueville, but I'll choose to quote John Stuart Mill's On Liberty: 'Democracy does not deliver justice, democracy does not deliver fairness, democracy does not deliver protection to minority groups; democracy gives the majority the power, and that may well be tyranny.' In fact de Tocqueville, who's the greatest commentator on democracy, wrote a book on tyranny. That was the name of the book, and it was a book on democracy.

The thing that got me about this is: why do people in a relationship want to call it marriage? I refuse to use the word 'g-a-y'. I did very well, if I say so myself, in English, at school and thereafter, and I got a very high mark. There was a wonderful poem by Alexander Pope, and in it there is a wonderful line:

Belinda smiled, and all the world was gay.

I had to look it up in the dictionary: 'gay' means beautiful, happy, light, attractive, ethereal. I wouldn't—

An incident having occurred in the gallery—

Mr Speaker, can you shut them up, please? This is the Parliament of Australia. It's not a happy clappers meeting here.

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