Greg Combet stands up for Equal Rights and marriage equality

During yesterday’s Second reading of Marriage Amendment Bill 2012, Greg Combet, minister for climate change, stood up and spoke in support of marriage equality, here is some of what he had to say:

I support the Marriage Amendment Bill 2012 that has been proposed by the member for Throsby and supported by others. …ultimately for me as a member of parliament and as an individual this is a matter of discrimination against same-sex couples that I believe the parliament should remedy. Same-sex couples should not be denied the ability to marry if they should choose to do so.

The bill amends the Marriage Act 1961 to address this issue by amending the definition of marriage from ‘husband and wife’ to ‘two people’. …The bill simply seeks to remove discrimination and to advance equality in our society.

…Times change and it is important that the legislature change with them. Ending discrimination does not take away someone’s rights; it establishes equal rights for members of our community.

Labor, I would submit, has a very proud history of fighting for rights and ending discrimination. That is one of the reasons that I am a member of the Labor Party and the Labor movement, although I have enormous respect for the diversity of views on this issue amongst the members of the Labor Party. When one looks at the history of the Labor Party, it established the Racial Discrimination Act of 1975, the Sex Discrimination Act of 1984, the Disability Discrimination Act in 1992 and in the last term of this parliament Labor amended 85 separate pieces of legislation to remove discrimination against same-sex couples. Australia is not acting alone on this matter either. Ten countries and even more jurisdictions now allow same-sex marriage.
…the Labor movement has always fought for equality and justice and I believe that this sits within that tradition.
As for many other members, this is also a matter relevant to my own family and extended family. I cannot and will not contemplate support for discrimination against persons whom I care for. …For those reasons, in brief, I do support the Marriage Amendment Bill 2012 and am happy to have my support on the record.

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2 Comments to “Greg Combet stands up for Equal Rights and marriage equality”

  1. When will we see members of the NO Coalition stand up for their convictions instead of surrendering their beliefes to Phoney Tony’s religious dogma.

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