Senate debates

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2009

Second Reading

3:59 pm

Photo of Sarah Hanson-YoungSarah Hanson-Young (SA, Australian Greens) Share this | Hansard source

in reply—I thank the other speakers for their contributions to the debate today. It is important to point out that the Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2009 is about offering marriage equality. It is about removing the discrimination that does not currently allow same sex couples to marry under federal law. I say to the minister through you, Mr Deputy President, that this is not about money. Marriage between a man and woman is not simply about money. Marriage between a man and a man or a woman and a woman, which this bill would allow, would not simply be about money. Marriage, of course, is about love. It is about commitment. It is about the symbolism of being able to show your relationship, with its true trust, commitment and support, to your loving family and having that respected under federal law. As a mother put it so perfectly when talking about her two sons:

My straight son has all the privileges that go with being heterosexual, including legalising his relationship and—


the respect that brings.

But she said—

my gay son—

that is, her other son—

does not share these privileges.

                  …              …              …

She said that, as a parent, she was very sad about this. She went on to say:

… to me—


is about building a life together. It provides emotional, financial and social commitment and it is a symbolic expression of love. It is … about people being happier and healthier because—

they are in—

… a stable relationship, which of course is what any parent wants for their child …

This is the discrimination we wish to remove.

Question put:

That the motion (Senator Hanson-Young’s) be agreed to.


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