Senate debates

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Questions without Notice


2:00 pm

Photo of George BrandisGeorge Brandis (Queensland, Liberal Party, Attorney-General) Share this | Hansard source

What we said, and what we have delivered, is a fair process that treats both sides equally.

Senator Wong interjecting—

Senator Wong, I wish you would stop playing politics with this question, because the cabinet has now decided, and this morning our party room endorsed, the introduction into the parliament tomorrow of a plebiscite bill which treats both sides of the case—the 'yes' case and the 'no' case—with complete equality.

This is a challenge for Mr Bill Shorten, because Mr Shorten has said that he believes in marriage equality but now Mr Shorten is the one person standing between Australia and the opportunity for Australia to move to marriage equality. It is time for Mr Shorten to stop playing politics with this issue. It is time for Mr Shorten to stop playing politics with gay people's lives. It is time for Mr Shorten to get out of the way, to respect the fact that the government was re-elected committed to this course. It was adopted by the Australian people. It has been supported by the Australian people time and again. If Mr Shorten gets out of the way, we can have marriage equality within less than five months. But, if Mr Shorten decides to continue to play politics with gay people's lives, then there will not be marriage equality. While Mr Shorten says, 'I want to play politics; you can wait for years,' we will put this issue off for years.

Senator Wong interjecting—

I can understand, Senator Wong, why you are feeling very uncomfortable about this, but the fact is that you are a member of a party that faces a choice: will you stay in the way of marriage equality or will you allow the frustrated people to have a vote?


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