Thursday, 20 September 2012
Marriage Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2012; Second Reading
I rise to sum up the debate on the Marriage Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2012. I understand that I am the last speaker in what I think has been an important week for this country, both here and in the House of Representatives. I want to start by thanking the Senate for allowing us the time to undertake this debate. It is not a government piece of legislation, but unusually it is a piece of legislation that has been moved by four members of a government. I also want to place on record my acknowledgement of those who have contributed to this debate and the personal stories we have heard. The wide-ranging views of people both for and against this legislation have, I think, enlightened our community in one way or the other around this country as to what people in this parliament are thinking.
I want to start by putting on record my personal situation. I, like many other people in this country, have either family members or very close friends who identify as gay or lesbian. If they are family members, of course I have known them all my life. The friends I am talking about I have known for the best part of nearly 40 years. I am a heterosexual woman and I have been married for 30 years.