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Wednesday, 29 November 2017
Page: 9183


Senator HINCH (Victoria) (12:38): I will be very brief. I stand here as a person who was opposed to same-sex marriage. Ten years ago, I would have said, like many Australians, that marriage is between a man and a woman because that's just the way it is—the way my mother would say about any argument we had. That was until I realised how hollow my arguments were, how shallow they were and how unfair they were to fellow Australians.

I said to people like Senator Wong, as I did four minutes before the vote was announced the other day, I thought it was a disgrace we had a plebiscite. I didn't think it was right that we should have a postal vote that had total strangers deciding on how you should live your life. But I now actually agree with Senator Brandis when he said that the postal vote was a great advantage because it showed that the majority of Australians are decent people and did want this to happen, and it did happen. I just say one thing to gay Australians: be a little charitable to the people who opposed it, to the 'no' voters. When it comes to Christmas and if you're sitting at the Christmas table and you find out, to your shock, that your dad or mum voted against it, they came from a generation that had a different view. Just be a little bit tolerant. I know how it hurt and how it hurt schoolkids through this long period, but I just want to say: congratulations, Australia, and all you people who have fought this for so many years—and going back to Bob Brown's days. I think this country now is wonderful.