Same-sex marriage: debate begins in Parliament



The bill to change the marriage act is in, the aim is to have same sex marriage legalised before Christmas and with just a few weeks to get it done, politicians will begin debating the legislation straight away.

Labor leader Senator Wong says the values of tolerance, respect and a fair go “grow ever stronger”.

The Smith bill is not perfect, she says, but Labor supports it because it is the bill that has the support of Parliament.

She said the result has demonstrated Australians are not scared of LGBTI people: “Our love is equal and our families are equal.”

Liberal Senator Smith, a Christian, says “people voted ‘no’ not because they had a particular problem with gay and lesbian Australians but because they felt it was the easiest expression of their fear about the change in Australian culture towards people of religious faith”.

He said “The ‘no’ advocates spoke much about religious freedom but couldn’t point to what freedom was exactly being lost. That’s because what religious people fear has little to do with laws but everything to do with culture. Let me express the fears that many people of faith have in our modern world. Many Australians voted ‘no’ because they fear a world where they won’t be able to live their identity, where they can’t fully express who they are.”