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Thursday, 9 December 1993
Page: 4222

Senator O'CHEE (10.22 a.m.) —I thank Senator Spindler. Let me outline my concern. I understand that Senator Spindler is trying to do his best to outline the effect as he sees it, but I think there is an unexpected consequence of this amendment.

  Let me give a perfect example of where discrimination on the basis of sexual preference is perfectly justified. The amendment that Senator Spindler makes would prohibit discrimination in employment solely on the basis of a person's sexual preference. Now that sexual preference need not be men for men or women for women; it could well be adults for young children. That is one of the consequences of an amendment that precludes discrimination against a person's employment upon the basis of sexual preference.

Senator Parer —Paedophiles.

Senator O'CHEE —Exactly. As Senator Parer says, it includes a paedophile. This amendment says that we cannot refuse to employ a paedophile in a kindergarten. That is the consequence when one uses the words `sexual preference'. It means that we cannot refuse to employ a paedophile in a kindergarten. Frankly, I believe that we have certain responsibilities.

Senator Margetts —Paedophilia is an illegal act. That is nonsense.

Senator O'CHEE —But it is sexual preference. That is the problem. If one wishes to move an amendment to a bill, the amendment has to be appropriately worded.

Senator Bell —And it is.

Senator O'CHEE —I think we have a problem—

Senator Bell —You think but you don't know.

Senator O'CHEE —The number of things that Senator Bell has said he has thought about but has not thought about is quite miraculous. I think perhaps his interjection would be better withheld.

Senator Bell —You do not have that capacity.

Senator O'CHEE —If Senator Bell keeps quiet, we might get on with this debate in a more intelligent fashion. The problem with this amendment is that it says `sexual preference'. Sexual preference can clearly be construed to include the preference of an adult for young children. That is why I believe this amendment should not be supported.