Thursday, 6 December 2018
I seek leave to amend general business notice of motion No. 1208 standing in my name and that of Senator Pratt, to replace 9 December with 7 December—noting that 7 December was the date that legislation for marriage equality actually passed through the parliament.
I move the motion as amended:
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) 7 December 2018 marks the first anniversary of marriage equality in Australia,
(ii) this resounding 'yes' vote is something to be celebrated, as is the passing of marriage equality in Australia,
(iii) the postal survey in itself is not to be celebrated, as it was opposed by the majority of LGBTIQ+ Australians and caused a lot of harm to LGBTIQ+ Australians and their families,
(iv) the historic 'yes' vote and the passing of marriage equality was the result of decades of tireless campaigning by brave community leaders and activists, and
(v) marriage equality is not the end of the fight for equality for LGBTIQ+ Australians and their families, many of whom still face discrimination in their daily lives; and
(b) calls on all parliamentarians to continue to work to end discrimination against LGBTIQ+ Australians and their families in all areas of their lives.
The coalition government would have supported this motion; however, we refuse to accept the suggestion that the plebiscite was anything other than a critical and successful component of the process which led to the amendments to the Marriage Act to legislate same-sex marriage. The government therefore cannot agree with a motion with such a negative and historically inaccurate suggestion about the plebiscite. It was ultimately the coalition government, through the successful postal plebiscite process, which facilitated the legislation of this reform.
The passing of marriage equality through this parliament was an historic moment of ending discrimination against LGBTIQ Australians. It is absolutely to be acknowledged, recognised and celebrated. The plebiscite was not the way to do it; we got through that and we achieved marriage equality. It was a moment when the parliament came together, reflecting the huge support of the Australian community. I must note that I had hoped that, in celebrating its one-year anniversary this week, we might have also taken a step forward on ending discrimination in another significant area, in schools. But, sadly, the support and unanimity and coming together that we achieved with marriage equality last year has not been shown this year in ending discrimination in schools. In fact, we've had a total shemozzle over the issue of ending discrimination in schools against students and teachers. I call, as we're looking forward, for everyone to come together in the same way they did for marriage equality to protect and support LBGTIQ students and teachers in schools. (Time expired)
Question agreed to.