Thursday, 7 December 2017
Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017; Consideration in Detail
I thank the people who have offered insightful and interesting debate, entertaining debate some of it, on this amendment. I note with interest the talk about young girls and their being happy and excited and everything. I want to give an example. I have an eight-year-old daughter. She is learning to play the electric guitar. She is not very good at playing the electric guitar. But I'm happy to send her to your House to set up in your lounge room so she can play her electric guitar really, really loud. And bless her, she wants to go on The Voice; she thinks she can sing. I love her but she can't sing. You say, 'Where is he going on this?' Right? She has to have the right. It is her right to play that guitar anywhere she wants, in your house as loud as she wants. You say, 'Hold on a minute here, no, it's my house. My house. I might tell her to turn it down. I might tell her after 10 minutes of playing that she needs to be quiet.' Why? Because it's your house. You have the right.
Our religious organisations have built campsites. They have built church facilities and they have done it with their money. It is their right to determine what goes on in their facilities. It doesn't matter if you want to set up your electric guitar in their facilities and play it as loud as you can. It doesn't matter. It is contrary to everything that Australians stand for. The castle is a home. It is not up to the High Court, it is not up to judges to determine what you believe. It is not up to the judges to determine what goes on in your home. How dare you think it's discrimination to say that it is up to churches, and you're going deny them the right to use their facilities how they see fit. That is freedom we're talking about there. That is the freedom to express yourself in what you want to spend your money on and what you want to build your assets on, and you want to have the final say in what goes on in those assets.
Do not think you achieve freedom by giving rights to others and taking away the rights of someone else—or else we'll call this the 'electric guitar amendment', where you'll let me send my daughter over because, while I love her to bits, she can't play guitar. She'll come to your place, set up in your lounge room and play in your lounge room for as long and as hard and as loud as she wants to, and you can't do anything about it. Do you call that freedom? Is that what we want? Is that what this legislation is about? This legislation should be about uniting Australians to say they can do what they want in their own home. They can marry who they want, but don't take away other people's freedoms at the same time. Don't take away churches' freedom to decide what happens to their assets. You wouldn't give that freedom in your own home; don't take it away from the churches and religious organisations of Australia.