Page 2938 - Week 08 - Thursday, 17 August 2017

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have with workers everywhere, irrespective of how far removed they may be from one’s own particular line of work. But it also conveys the solidarity we on this side of the chamber have with the LGBTIQ community.

We are guided by these principles that an attack on one is an attack on all, because we know that rights denied to one cohort undermines progress towards absolute equality. I am proud to be part of this movement and to be on the side that leads, that fights and that will stand alongside those who are denied fairness in our community.

MS CHEYNE (Ginninderra) (4.00): I, too, rise in support of this important motion from the Chief Minister and to oppose the amendment. Continuing on with our theme of quoting others, I would like to quote former British Prime Minister David Cameron, who said to his own party:

Conservatives believe in the ties that bind us; that society is stronger when we make vows to each other and support each other. So I don’t support gay marriage despite being a Conservative. I support gay marriage because I’m a Conservative.

How unlucky are we, then, that our conservatives on the big hill prefer to hide and divide, rather than accept that love is love? Instead we get a Prime Minister and a conservative federal government that have gone out of their way to obfuscate a simple issue, rather than accept what everyone already knows: Australia wants marriage equality.

I am proud to be part of a party and a government that stands firmly as an LGBTIQ ally. We believe in respect and dignity for all. What started as a religious institution has become a social and cultural one, and it is time that Australia got with the program. In the words of Peter Tatchell, a gay rights advocate born in Australia but now living in the UK:

Marriage is the internationally recognised system of relationship recognition. It is the global language of love.

The spirit of marriage is not exclusion or judgement. The spirit of marriage is love between two adults who want to spend the rest of their lives together. Sexual orientation should make absolutely no difference.

It stands then that the federal government’s cowardice here is a disgrace. But this postal survey is going ahead, so we will work hard to support everyone to get enrolled, to vote and to get the right outcome—the outcome that Australia wants. As Bill Shorten said last week:

Voting ‘yes’ is not about endorsing this process, it is about refusing to walk past our fellow Australians when they need us.

We will campaign vigorously, as we have all said here today, and we will not be discouraged by any negative campaign.

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