Thursday, 7 December 2017
Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017; Consideration in Detail
I cannot support this amendment and, indeed, I haven't supported any of the earlier amendments, because during the postal survey the overwhelming majority of Australians voted to end the discrimination. They did not vote to create discrimination, and that would be the effect of this amendment. That's why this amendment cannot be supported. Isn't it time to stop the discrimination and to stop the hurt? Haven't members of the LGBTIQ community been hurt enough for so long—those that have been vilified and abused and hated and assaulted and even murdered, and those who have been forced to take their own life? Surely it is time to end the discrimination. That's why this amendment cannot be supported. I say to the opponents of same-sex marriage: you've had your day. It is now time—it's beyond time—for the members of the LGBTI community, many of whom are people of faith themselves, many of whom, as people of faith along with everyone else of faith, will continue to enjoy freedom of religion. But surely it's time to give the LGBTI community freedom from religion. I will not support this amendment. The protections in the current bill are satisfactory. I think we should just do this thing. In closing, can I say something I said the other day in my speech on the second reading: our laws don't just tell us how to act; they also reflect how we think as a country, so let's start thinking better.