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Thursday, 20 September 2012
Page: 7460

Senator CORMANN (Western Australia) (11:11): I rise to make a brief contribution to this debate on the Marriage Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2012. I would like to place on record my views on this bill and all the other bills currently before the parliament seeking to change the definition of marriage. In short, I strongly support the coalition position that marriage is the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.

Marriage is an institution. It is an institution with a special status in the context of our very longstanding societal values. It is the institution in our society which provides the framework for the creation and nurture of children. I want to place on record that I support the view that children deserve to have the opportunity, all other things being equal, to grow up with both a mother and a father. I understand that not everybody shares that view, but certainly that is very much my view and it is a view which informs my judgement in relation to bills like the one we are debating here today.

Back in 2004 the coalition enshrined in the Marriage Act the definition of marriage, as it has always been understood for time immemorial, as a union between a man and a woman. That is a position we have reconfirmed in the lead-up to every election since, as did the current government at successive elections. I understand that there is a diversity of views on this issue across the community. I very much respect those members of the government who, in the context of what has been a pretty robust debate, have actually stood up for what they believe in when it comes to the importance of maintaining the value and the definition of marriage as it is currently enshrined in our legislation.

With those few words, consistent with my commitment to keep my comments on this particular piece of legislation brief, I reconfirm that I am opposed to this bill or any other bill currently before the parliament which seeks to change the definition of marriage. I very strongly support the definition of marriage as it stands.