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Marriage Equality

Monday, October 1, 2012

Rainbow Labor Tasmania

The recent votes in the Australian Parliament showed that there is still much work in the campaign for marriage equality. Both Sid Sidebottom, Member for Braddon, and I voted in favour of ending discrimination in the House of Reps and the Senate.

I am proud of my Labor colleagues in the Tasmanian Parliament who have come so close to passing state-based marriage equality. Both Labor Members for Braddon, Bryan Green and Brenton Best gave passionate speeches in support of reform; I commend you both. After spirited debate in the Legislative Council, the Bill failed 8 votes to 6. The two independent Legislative Councillors from North West Tasmania who spoke in the debate, Ruth Forrest and Mike Gaffney, both supported allowing same-sex couples the honour and privilege of marrying the one they love. Our community in North West Tasmania is definitely moving towards a culture of acceptance and tolerance for all.

I have spoken three times in the Senate on the need for an amendment to the Marriage Act to ensure that Australia remains a country that actively promotes equality, fairness and dignity for all citizens. Given the failure of the Australian Parliament to amend the Federal Marriage Act, it was a courageous approach by the Tasmanian Government to move to create state-based same-sex marriage in Tasmania. Although these reforms did not pass this time, I will continue to work inside and outside the ALP for an amendment to the Federal Marriage Act or for state-based same-sex marriage in Tasmania. I encourage all Australians to continue to campaign for this important reform.

I believe that this is not just about recognising the rights of members of our LGBTI community but it also another step in ridding our society of sexuality based discrimination. The right to marry should belong to all Australians. Marriage is a commitment between two people who love each other and who wish to celebrate their commitment to one another in front of family and friends. Australia has always prided itself as a nation of forward thinkers. We have fought and won wars to have the freedom that we all now enjoy. To discriminate against a minority group on the grounds of sexual preference is unfair.

My contributions to the Senate on marriage equality are on this website at:

Marriage Equality Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2012

Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2010

Marriage Equality Adjournment Speech

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