Thursday, 25 February 2010
Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2009
I would like to make a short contribution to the debate on the Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2009. Today the Greens have put before the Senate a bill that would endorse and make legal same-sex marriages and would give them the same standing as a marriage between a man and a woman. I cannot support that, and neither can many of my constituents. That does not infer that I discriminate against same-sex couples; I certainly do not, but I do not believe you can have a marriage between a same-sex couple as you have between and a man and a woman. I come confidently into the Senate as a happily married man of 40 years standing to recognise marriage as an institution that can never be replaced or mimicked by a same-sex marriage. I had an email from one constituent that I thought covered it better than I could:
We both vehemently oppose such proposals—
meaning same-sex marriage. It continues:
We have taken seriously the commitments we made to “marriage”, which has required each of us to faithfully maintain various disciplines over a long period.
But if the definition of ‘marriage’ is broadened and blurred as proposed, it would make the commitment we have made appear to be of little significance. Consequently we would regard it as an insulting, invasive and unacceptable violation of our rights to now have our commitment massively devalued.
We will of course maintain our commitment. It has been and will continue to be of enormous value to us and now our 21 descendants, all of whom are also benefiting from making the same commitments. It is clear to us from this experience as well as from observing—