Senate debates

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Bills

Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017; In Committee

5:34 pm

Photo of Eric AbetzEric Abetz (Tasmania, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

So, to try to read into this that, somehow by voting for same-sex marriage, the Australian people also overwhelmingly voted to denigrate parental rights, to denigrate the right to freedom of speech and to denigrate the right to freedom of conscientious objection is, to employ the words of the honourable senator, somewhat desperate. That is clearly not what the Australian people voted for.

What is more, as Senator Fawcett pointed out to us, in the same polls that predicted the outcome of about 61.4 per cent of Australians voting in favour of same-sex marriage, with even a bigger margin they indicated their support for these fundamental freedoms. That is what should be motivating us and exercising our minds in this chamber this evening. What is it that we want in Australia? Do we want diversity? It seems no longer so. Diversity was a great catchcry until you were able to convince a certain group of Australians that they should vote for this diversity, but, now that this diversity has been voted for, anybody with a contrary opinion should be shut down, closed down, no longer allowed to speak. And your seeking to tell us that we are voting for a nanny state is really as much of a case of pot-kettle-black as I have ever witnessed in this chamber. The simple fact is—

Senator Hanson-Young interjecting—

Despite great temptation, Senator Hanson-Young, I didn't interject during your speech. I would encourage you to extend the same sort of courtesy to those of us on this side. It seems, according to Senator Hanson-Young, that it's an extraordinary wedge.

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