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Thursday, 12 August 2004
Page: 26556

Senator GREIG (4:37 PM) —The Democrats will of course support the amendment because it goes to the heart of the matter. While we have heard much talk and rhetoric today about how the bill is all about reinforcing traditional marriage, the point that I and others have made is that it does nothing of the sort. It denies the fact of the evolution of marriage. It denies the fact that marriage was once banned between interracial relationships. It denies the fact that marriage was once denied the opportunity for divorce. It denies the fact that interfaith marriage was once banned. It denies the fact that marriages were once based on the notion of women being regarded as the property of their husbands—all things which have changed through the evolving paradigm of marriage.

It is a great pity that the opportunity before us today to eradicate one last element of discrimination within the Marriage Act could not be embraced. Senator Brown's amendment is accurate: the proposal before us is to legislate in stone a definition that quite specifically discriminates against a section of the community. There are those who argue that that discrimination is valid and warranted; nonetheless, that does not change the fact that it is discrimination. We support the amendment.

Question negatived.