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Wednesday, 29 November 2017
Page: 9172

Senator HANSON (Queensland) (11:40): It was very interesting to listen to the comments of the Attorney-General, Senator Brandis, with regard to discrimination: 'We should protect people against discrimination.' Let me take you back to section 51(xxvi) of the Australian Constitution, which says, 'the people of any race for whom it is deemed necessary to make special laws'. This in itself is discrimination, because we do have laws in Australia that state that people of a certain race will get special benefits—and it is the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people—in health services, housing, jobs and education. There is a difference, and there is discrimination.

When the people of Australia had the vote on this plebiscite, the question was: do you agree with same-sex marriage? The people agreed to it. We are debating this whole issue in this chamber now. Having the plebiscite before we debated this legislation was putting the cart before the horse in the eyes of the Australian people. They had no understanding of the impact it would have on them.

What we are asking here is for people not to be discriminated against based on their views and their opinions of what they want to do. If they have a conscientious objection to marrying those of the same sex or a religious obligation due to their beliefs, why is that such an issue? Why can't there be tolerance in this chamber from both sides? The people have decided they are not against same-sex marriage. They have voted for that. But, with this amendment, you are taking away the rights of the Australian people. This is about thought police; this is about control. The sex discrimination laws are in place, but you are not allowing people to have the right of a conscientious vote here, and there is going to be, time and time again, a lot of litigation against these people. So there is discrimination, and it's in our Constitution. It's happening every day in our lives. So don't reflect on it in what is being debated here today. I'm just reflecting that we should have a look at our own Constitution.