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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 02 Hansard (Tuesday, 16 February 2016) . . Page.. 442 ..

opposite, who have no interest in equality and who have no interest in equal recognition under the law. This is a reform we should continue to talk about in this place until that equality in our community is achieved.

MS BERRY (Ginninderra—Minister for Housing, Community Services and Social Inclusion, Minister for Multicultural and Youth Affairs, Minister for Sport and Recreation and Minister for Women) (4.03): I am very happy to rise again to speak on this matter of public importance as it is important to so many people in the Canberra community. Every time I have risen in this place to speak on the importance of marriage equality, I have asked my young friends Chris and Dylan to lend me their words. I met Chris and Dylan nearly a year ago at a marriage equality rally. I know that as young people they joined the movement for equality at a time when LGBTIQ people were told to settle for civil unions.

I am proud to know so many people who had the strength to refuse to accept that they as people were worth less than full equality. They are the reason that this Assembly came to resolve in favour of marriage equality, and it is always a privilege to have the opportunity to put one of the personal stories that make up this movement on the public record.

When I asked Chris and Dylan to contribute to my 2013 speech on the Marriage Equality Bill they spoke with hope about love and family. They said:

We are Chris and Dylan. We are a family. Our love binds us together. And we look forward to the day when we are treated like any other family. Today is the next step on that path to equality.

In 2014 they spoke with disappointment. They said:

Twelve months changes a lot. We’ve both grown as people. We’ve grown as a couple, even more in love and committed to each other. Australia has grown as a country too. But we still don’t have the equality that the vast majority of us believe in. That must change.

When I asked them today, they spoke with real frustration. They said:

Why can’t we get this done already? It’s clear that all Australians want all loving couples to be treated with respect and value, not subject to divisive campaigns of vitriol.

In light of calls today for the suspension of the anti-discrimination act throughout the plebiscite campaign for marriage equality, I could not agree with them more.

We spoke in this place just last week about the devastating impact of youth suicide, and I cannot overstate my disappointment that young people whom we know are at risk will be subject to a public campaign that will attack both their fundamental rights and their identity as members of our community.

Like many Canberrans, I share Chris and Dylan’s disappointment and their anger. I cannot believe it has taken this long for federal legislators to recognise the common

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