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Thursday, 20 September 2012
Page: 7458


Senator WILLIAMS (New South WalesNationals Whip in the Senate) (11:02): I will be brief in my address on the Marriage Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2012. I realise that this is a sensitive issue. We have heard all sides of the debate for a long period of time now in the Senate this week.

I will not be supporting this legislation. I believe that a marriage is between a man and a woman, and I say that on grounds referring to Senator Furner's remarks. I believe that marriage is a sacrament of the Christian faith; but not only of Christianity—there are also the Jewish and Islamic faiths, as Senator Furner said.

I support, totally, equal rights for same-sex couples. We have had politicians who have a same-sex partner, and those partners deserve the same entitlements as my wife. I believe that when it comes to separations, distribution of assets and superannuation that they should be treated equally. That is certainly the case in Australia. However, I do believe that marriage is between a man and a woman, and I will not be supporting the legislation.