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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 17 August 2017) . . Page.. 2935 ..


MR HANSON: Here we go. We are talking about the positions that have changed. There was a single Liberal vote. In fact, a Liberal member crossed the floor to vote. The Labor members were the ones who stopped that from getting up. I go back to 2010. Senator Wong made these comments:

… on the issue of marriage I think the reality is there is a cultural, religious, historical view around that which we have to respect. The party’s position is very clear that this is an institution that is between a man and a woman."

That reflected the position of Julia Gillard at the time and Kevin Rudd before her. So let us understand the history of this. Comments about prime ministers being weak and gutless have been made in this place. I do not think they are helpful and I do not think they are true, unless we are going to see Labor members labelling all former Labor prime ministers as weak and gutless as an equal charge. I do not think that would be helpful and I am certainly not calling for that.

The poll is going to go ahead. The vote will go ahead. As I said, this could have been resolved had there been a plebiscite. That is not the way it is going to happen. So I urge members to heed the words that were put forward by Mr Ramsay: nonpartisan and respectful. I will be voting yes in the postal vote. I support same sex-marriage. I hope it wins and I hope that there is a vote in the federal parliament before the end of the year. I am very clear on that.

But equally I think it is important that we remember to respect everybody’s views as we continue this debate in this place. And as we continue the debate out in the community, let us not be calling people weak and gutless. Let us not have inferences that a yes vote means you are good, a no vote does not mean you are good. Let us recognise that there are mixed views and move ahead with the debate. Personally, I hope—I know there are other members who think the same; Ms Lee, who is sitting over there—that the vote is a yes. But the vote may be a no. Other people will have mixed views on this. Let us be respectful, members. Let us use language that I think takes this debate forward and not drag it down.

MS STEPHEN-SMITH (Kurrajong—Minister for Community Services and Social Inclusion, Minister for Disability, Children and Youth, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations) (3.50): I rise to speak in support of the Chief Minister’s motion and in opposition to Mr Coe’s amendment. I am proud to be part of a government and a party that celebrates diversity and stands up for equality. I am proud to stand for values that I believe are reflected in our Canberra community. If we are to live up to our vision of being an inclusive city, we must make a stand in support of marriage equality. If we are going to have this wasteful postal survey then we must campaign for justice and inclusion.

In that regard, I would respond to Mr Hanson’s reflection on Mr Steel’s comments, and reflect that the Prime Minister, a Prime Minister who believes in marriage equality, has actively chosen to absent himself from this campaign, has actively chosen not to use his leadership position as the Prime Minister of this country to


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