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Monday, 3 June 2013
Page: 5007

Mr SCHULTZ (Hume) (20:21): I rise for the fifth time to speak on a bill to amend the Marriage Act. At the outset, I would like to dispel the myth that members of the Liberal Party are unable to use their conscience vote. Unlike the Labor Party, we are, and I have used it on a number of occasions against my own party. We have the ability to vote with the other side of the parliament or abstain from voting. That is still available to people.

Having said that, I make the point once again: you have to admit that advocates for same-sex marriage are persistent. The member for Melbourne is certainly committed to the process of social engineering. The dogma to destroy the definition of marriage as defined in the Marriage Act is well and truly alive, and it will continue. He and his ilk arrogantly and continually ignore the wishes of the majority of Australians who, through their elected representatives, have emphatically said no to the recognition of same-sex marriage. Same-sex marriage advocates like the member for Melbourne have placed new meaning on the Fabian Society's process of gradualism, or the drip, drip, drip process of social brainwashing.

I quote from a succinct editorial on page 18 of The Weekend Australian of 29 May 2004, following the debate on the Marriage Legislation Amendment Bill 2004 which resulted in significant recognition of the rights of homosexuals and reinforces the relentless self-indulgence of the homosexual movement's push for same-sex marriage, despite those generous reforms. The editorial began:

HOMOSEXUAL Australians had a big practical win and a small symbolic defeat this week The Government announced legislation to allow superannuation to pass to a same sex partner without penalty tax. It means that gay and lesbian partners will have the same rights as married couples and heterosexuals in de facto relationships. This is a long overdue and sensible decision that will put an end to a ridiculous restriction on the rights of homosexual couples.

And I agree with that. It went on:

The Government was accused of playing politics, seeking to shore up conservative support. But if this was the Prime Minister's motive it was one Labor was quick to share, saying it would support the legislation restricting marriage to heterosexuals. While gay activists might not like it, the major parties are convinced the community will not wear the idea of same sex marriage.

And nothing has changed. The editorial also said:

Without this legislation, social engineers on the bench and at the bar would likely soon find some contrivance under international law that would bind Australia to acknowledge overseas same sex marriages and adoption rights. Mr Howard is quite right to say that if the definition of marriage is to change it should be done by the people’s elected representatives, not the courts.

Gays who argue this is demeaning and unjust should get over it. There is nothing that prevents priests and celebrants conducting ceremonies for gay couples affirming their decision to live as couples. They may not be married under the law but surely how they, and the people in their lives, perceive their relationship is what matters most.

Fifty-one years ago, I married a wonderful woman in a marriage ceremony which was and is applicable to every Australian resident, without exception, today. The question needs to be asked: how are homosexuals discriminated against when no homosexual is denied marriage under Australian law and marital requirements are, without exception, applicable equally to every Australian resident? Isn't declining to accept marital rules a self-discriminating free choice and not a social or legal discrimination? De facto heterosexual couples are not discriminated against for choosing to refuse marriage, so what is the special obligation or need for homosexuals to marry?

I close off by saying this: I think it is abominable that gay activists continue to focus on and manipulate civil rights strategies to justify claims for same-sex marriage and keep using accusations of discrimination, inequality and homophobia to intimidate politicians and the general public. I represent the majority of my constituents, who know and adhere to the reality that marriage is an accepted bond between a man and a woman. Marriage is a bedrock institution worthy of protection under law. There should be no doubt about what the word 'marriage' means. However, there is growing evidence to suggest that the commonly accepted definition of 'a union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others' is again under threat. In response to that, I say this: those who represent that threat will be out of this place in the next couple of months, but my views and the views of my family will not change in relation to the definition of marriage.

Debate interrupted.