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Wednesday, 29 November 2017
Page: 9190

Senator BARTLETT (Queensland) (13:12): I know everyone is keen to see this come to a vote, so I will be brief. I just want to speak on behalf of those who have been campaigning since 2004. As I said in the second reading debate, I was in this chamber when this discrimination was directly and deliberately inserted into the Marriage Act, and it's by a quirk of fate that I find myself back here just in time for this vote to reverse that wrong. I won't name any people; all the names have been said. But, as was said at that time, parliament or governments enacting something you believe is unjust and wrong is no reason to give up. You do not give up and you continue to fight until that injustice is reversed. I really want to note on the record those people. Some of the people in the gallery today were here on that day in 2004, such a black day. They watched that vote with such sadness and horror, and they did not give up. They continued to fight, and that injustice has been overturned, and I really wanted to congratulate all those people who didn't give up, and to remind all of us: when you see all of the other injustices that we witness, do not give up, and continue to fight. You can win, and you can have it overturned. That injustice is now being reversed, and it will never reappear. Congratulations to those people.