Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant the accuracy of closed captions. These are derived automatically from the broadcaster's signal.
Gay marriage hot on political agenda -

View in ParlViewView other Segments

(generated from captions) is absolutely dition from 1911 to 19 - 1914

Those stories shortly but is absolutely extraordinary.

first the issue of gay marriage

will be red hot at the Labor

Sydney this weekend. But where Party's national conference in

do the other parties stand? The

Greens have indicated they Greens have indicated they will

put up legislation on the issue

year but as national affairs when Parliament resumes next


Liberal ranks. It's an issue

set to preoccupy the ALP yet

again at its national conference. Gay conference. Gay marriage, to be

or not to be. As Julia Gillard

insists on a conscience vote,

if it ever comes before the

parliament, her party is not

divided opinion. It's my the only one grappling with

strong view that the Liberal strong view

Party should not have a

conscience vote on the issue of

the definition of marriage. Why

should we be afraid of this as an issue for the Party has been happy to leave

this as an issue for the Greens and

and the Labor Party but parties are going to have and the Labor Party but all

parties are going to have to deal with this. As the progay

marriage lobby intensifies its

campaign for change, in the

lead up to the ALP national conference which sets the platform, the Greens are ready conference which sets the party

to strike. We will be bringing

forward our bill. I've currently got it in the Senate,

it's all ready to go, we just

need to bring it on to the

notice paper and we'll be

looking to do that as soon as

we can in the new year. And

that means that one way or

another, like the Labor Party,

the Coalition will also have to

formalise its approach on how

to deal with the bill. Tony Abbott is on the record as

saying marriage is between a

man and a woman and he will not allow a conscience vote on what

he sees as a policy question.

Not all of his members agree. I

don't think we should restrict

anybody within the party who has a very strong view that

shouldn't have the opportunity

vote. There's a series of younger members who believe that this is a major issue for young people, that there will be change even young people, that ultimately

there's not change now, there will be change even if

coming in 5 or 10 years time and that the Liberal Party

needs to be aware of what many

young people are thinking which

is by and large in favour is by and large in favour of gay marriage. I have from both sides of politics, gay marriage. I have people

but increasingly so from the Coalition come up to me and

say, you know what, Sarah, I

agree, it's time for marriage equality. And if I didn't think anywhere that we were going to get anywhere with this legislation

strongly. I wouldn't be pushing it so

strongly. I do believe the time

has come. What the Greens are

party's trying to do is force the major

party's hands on this one and

at the least encourage conscience vote from Coalition at the least encourage a

members as well as Labor.

Malcolm Turnbull backs calls

won't say so publicly. And for a conscience vote though he

members past and present are

divided on what legislation

qualifies for such a move. This

issue is quite unlike those issues where we have research, euthanasia, abortion, conscience votes like stem cell

where, you know, at where, you know, at federal

level there isn't one clear

party policy. This is quite a different issue. There are very clear, strong party position in

support of the traditional

legal definition of

marriage. Look, I thought about

that. I think it is one of

those issues that is about your

conscience because it becomes

very personal. It's not very personal. It's not an

economic issue that we discuss


view on the world. It's proposal or a policy or our

something where an individual

shouldn't be captured by the

party if they have a very strong view on let's face it, let's not walk

away from this being a moral issue. Many people do strongly about this as an issue issue. Many people do feel

both for and against and a

conscience vote is one way of

managing that even though it

might be far from ideal. There is another alternative, say Liberal conservatives, and

unlike the rules of

members being expelled. If the matter comes before the parliament then if they feel so

say in our party, they have the strongly about it then, as I

right to cross the floor to

abide by their own personal

view of the matter, that is

their right. So - you know,

no-one is going to, in a sense,

adversely judge them if adversely judge them if they

decide that that's their view

of the matter. Mr Speaker, have been many attempts through love knows no boundaries. There love

history to limit love and history to limit love and all

have failed. It was have failed. It was the successful motion by member Adam Bandt in of Representatives last year member Adam Bandt in the House

the views of their electorates asking members to go and seek

on gay marriage that first put

this issue on the parliamentary

agenda. Liberals weren't

exactly rushing to back a

there were signs of change to the Marriage Act but

sympathy. I'm very well

documented as an advocate for

gay rights and the right for

support equality and I continue to

wholeheartedly. I have shared

my support for civil unions for

same sex couples and I have

shared my view there are legal implications that flow from same sex marriage. Civil unions, however, should be an alternative. Support for civil unions though is not what the Greens legislation is about.

And even those Liberals who

would like to see a vote on gay marriage don't

necessarily embrace a change to

the Marriage Act. The

leadership will respond to the

community on this one and they

will come to a consensus as to

what is the best for the party

this. Even if there are some

Liberal MPs who are Liberal MPs who are sympathetic

to gay marriage they also don't

want to be seen to be marching in tune to the Greens. But it is a the Greens. But it is a live issue and will continue to issue and will continue to be one. While change may be

sweeping some parts of the world like New York, the Australian parliament doesn't

look like it's ready yet. But

even in conservative ranks it

is now talking about an