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Wednesday, 13 September 2017
Page: 7096


Senator DASTYARI (New South WalesDeputy Opposition Whip in the Senate) (11:04): You get a lot of tough talk in the Senate from people with an incredible amount of opportunity, good fortune and privilege. There is this simple argument that offence is taken not given, but when you have the privileges that we have—parliamentary privilege, great incomes, staff, national media attention and soap boxes whenever you want—it's very, very easy to be tough.

Senator McAllister: All the privileges of a British citizen.

Senator DASTYARI: All the privileges of a British citizen that Senator Roberts may have. But what you don't want when you are a 16-year-old kid or a 14-year-old kid is this whole idea of, 'Toughen up, snowflake.' That seems to be the message that's coming out: 'Toughen up.' It's very easy for us to say that from this position of privilege; it's a lot harder for the schoolkid in the schoolyard, for the young adult coming to terms with their own sexuality and for the young kid who may have two parents of the same gender having to cope with what is going to be, and has already been, a horrible national debate. But there you have it from Pauline Hanson's One Nation, who want to make debate on the Marriage Law Survey (Additional Safeguards) Bill 2017 about everything other than what it actually is about.

Let's be clear: this bill is not about schools; it's not about kids; it's not about whether you can use the term 'mum and dad' in schools—which is such a patently absurd example and it makes me wonder whether Senator Hanson actually thought it through or came up with it on the spot. This is a bill about marriage. It's a postal survey about marriage. It's about whether two people can or can't marry each other if they are of the same sex. That is all; let's get on with it.