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Wednesday, 19 September 2012
Page: 7423

Senator JACINTA COLLINS (VictoriaManager of Government Business in the Senate and Parliamentary Secretary for School Education and Workplace Relations) (18:36): I intend to make very limited remarks in this debate on the Marriage Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2012. I hope to avoid the misrepresentation of my remarks that has occurred in a previous debate about marriage.

I remain unconvinced that it is unjust discrimination to foster stable, biological parenting as a social norm. That said, gender diversity and other forms of parenting should be acknowledged and respected. Like Mr Turnbull in the other place, I regret that in this debate as it stands today common ground—that is, common ground to progress broader relationship recognition—has been foregone. Like Mr Turnbull I also note that in Europe instances where recognising what we would call gay marriage have not been a problem in the main because they have a tradition of distinguishing between the role of the state and the role of the church in recognising the union, whereas those functions have in large measure been fused in our tradition. That said, my comments about gender diversity also acknowledge that the tradition we share here in Australia should be respected, too.