Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Wednesday, 12 November 2008
Page: 6797


Senator HANSON-YOUNG (6:35 PM) —I move Australian Greens amendment (1) on sheet 5614:

(1)    Schedule 2, page 21 (after line 16), after item 60, insert:

   Marriage Act 1961

60A  Section 5 (definition of marriage)

Omit “a man and a woman”, substitute “two persons, regardless of their sexuality or gender identity”.

60B  Subsection 47(1)

Omit “a man and a woman”, substitute “two persons, regardless of their sexuality or gender identity”.

This amendment deals with amending the Marriage Act to ensure that in this particular bill, which is the general law reform bill, we enable same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples to have the same rights and entitlements as each other. There is one glaring omission from this particular bill, and that is the Marriage Act. I have flagged this numerous times. The Greens have been talking about the need for gay marriage law reform for a long time and this is the appropriate place to do this.

I have also called, as has the Australian Greens leader, Senator Bob Brown, for all sides of politics to allow for a conscience vote on this issue. It is an important issue for us to discuss. It is an important issue for us to have a decision on. When we look at the dialogue, the debate, the discussion among the Australian public, this is something that I believe people are prepared to continue talking about and would like some leadership from their parliamentarians on. There have been several polls over the last couple of years that talk about there being enormous support from the Australian public to allow gay marriage. What we are simply saying here is that if we are going to pass a suite of legislation that takes discrimination out of federal law, we have to be talking about removing discrimination in the Marriage Act as well.