Wednesday, 29 November 2017
Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017; In Committee
On the point of order, Madam Chair: as I just indicated, Senator Hinch himself said that. You didn't stop him from saying that, but you're stopping me from repeating what Senator Hinch said in this debate. Please make a ruling that is within the standing orders and in accord with the high traditions of this particular chamber where people are able to speak their mind with some protection from the chair about what can and cannot be said. This is the most ridiculous ruling I have ever heard. Most of the Labor Party will tell you they are not Christians and they don't support Christianity. I am simply repeating that fact, and that is not against standing orders.
The CHAIR: Senator Macdonald, you are now verging on dissenting against the ruling I have made. I have read you the rule from Odgers. I have asked you, respectfully, to refrain from referring to people's religion. I would ask you now to continue the debate.
Madam Chair, respect is a very two-way street—
The CHAIR: Senator Macdonald, please resume your seat. I've asked you to please continue the contribution that you are making about the amendment as put by Senator Hanson.
Respect, I say, to my colleagues in the chamber, is a very two-way street, and people's opinions should be respected. I respect Senator Hinch's opinion—not his opinion, his statement of fact, that he is an atheist, and he chose to tell this chamber that in this debate.