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Monday, 18 June 2012
Page: 6843

Ms O'NEILL (Robertson) (12:27): I too rise to oppose the bill. I understand there have been a number of speakers who have put this view this morning. I think it is very important that opposition to the bill is articulated clearly in this place, because this is a contested issue in our community at this time. I have had very vigorous communication from a large number of members in my community seeking me to stand and defend the current definition of marriage on their behalf. I know that there will be tabling of documents today regarding an inquiry into this bill and data related to that. I can reflect from my own local community that 70 per cent of the people who have communicated with my office on this matter oppose any change to the current definition of marriage.

I would like to also make an observation from conversations with people in my local community. This is often an issue where views that hold to the current definition are ascribed to older people who are somewhat out of touch with the current values and milieu of our society. In fact, the reality is that there are many young people who speak to me as well. There are many people who absolutely applaud the Labor federal government's amendments to legislation in our very first term to ensure equality before the law. The reality is that they accept that, they are proud of that and they absolutely want to go on the record as having no opposition to homosexuality but much the contrary: to be very clear in their support for the current definition of marriage.

I also want to indicate the large number of submissions that came to the inquiry from the Sikh community, from Uniting Care and also from that great supporter of community social justice, the Salvation Army. I again put on the record my opposition to the bill.

Debate adjourned.