Page 3559 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 22 October 2013

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It is disappointing that Katy Gallagher has refused this reasonable request and has in effect already prejudged the High Court case. I hope that everybody who does enter into a same-sex marriage in the ACT under this legislation, should it be passed today, is made aware of the probable result.

I acknowledge and I respect the many different voices in this debate. I acknowledge and respect our gay and lesbian friends in the community. I acknowledge and respect the voices of our religious leaders in our community.

There are a diverse range of views regarding the issue of same-sex marriage within the opposition, just as there are in the broader community. Some are in favour and some are not. Some do not have a strong view either way. My colleague Nicole Lawder, for example, is clearly on the record as being in favour of same-sex marriage. In her maiden speech only a couple of months ago, Ms Lawder said:

I also believe in advancing the rights of Canberrans in the gay and lesbian community, a number of whom I am proud to count as my friends. However, I believe that marriage equality is a federal issue, and not something that should be progressed through the Legislative Assembly.

Ms Lawder’s view that same-sex marriage is not something that should be progressed through the Assembly is a view shared by all of my colleagues and is the party’s position on this issue.

Madam Speaker, this Assembly is not the correct place for this debate. It is a federal issue and the Canberra Liberals will not be supporting this bill.


MADAM SPEAKER: Before I call Mr Rattenbury, I would like to acknowledge
the presence in the gallery of former member Ms Meredith Hunter and Senator Christine Milne. Welcome to the ACT Legislative Assembly.

Marriage Equality Bill 2013

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (10.19): I am delighted and proud, on behalf of the ACT Greens, to speak in support of the Marriage Equality Bill today. The passage of the Marriage Equality Bill is a landmark moment for this Assembly, for the ACT community and, indeed, for all the people across the nation who have been waiting so long for equal recognition and equal legal status for same-sex attracted Australians. This is the beginning of governments in Australia saying no to the historical institutionalised discrimination that relegated same-sex couples to a second-class status. Denying equal marriage rights to same-sex couples is an affront to human rights that says, “You are not allowed to express or formalise your love in the same way as other couples in our society.”

From today, through the passage of this bill, the ACT puts an end to this form of discrimination. Same-sex couples will be able to marry in the ACT. It is the first time

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