Today saw some fantastic events on the Federal Marriage Equality debate. I’m yet to read the Hansard from today (It’s not yet published) but aside from seeing what else was said, I look forward to a transcript of WA Senator Louise Pratt’s incredible speech, where she drove home that marriage equality is personal. It might not be personal to the people who oppose it, but it’s absolutely personal to queer families. I encourage you to view her amazing effort below. Nothing I say about it will do it justice.
Which is not to say that I won’t try… “I, like thousands of Australians was hurt and dismayed when the Federal Parliament back in 2004 took steps to entrench discrimination into our nation’s Marriage Act”
I am amazed and so pleased that Senator Pratt is able to display both her emotional attachment to the issue – there are a number of times where she appears to choke up, and a few times where her voice trembles – But she also manages to make her case strongly without relying on that emotional connection to carry her words. To me, her speech is a display of things that our parliament and politicians are sorely lacking – Personal connection, integrity of position, and passion on an issue.
She says, echoing my thoughts through the years, “I think it is one of the bitterest, bitterest ironies of this debate that historically gay people have been stigmatised as promiscuous and immoral, while being denied by the law the right to demonstrate the importance and consistency of their relationships in the way that any other Australian can.”
Louise Pratt’s speech – honest, clear, eloquent, and coming from the heart – made me cheer in my seat. I do not know whether her words will change lawmakers’ minds in Canberra, but I firmly believe that her words are worth spreading to the wider community, as I believe that she can connect with our Australian compatriots in a way that perhaps you and I might not.
In other great news, Bob Carr has announced that he will be voting for Marriage Equality! There are 9 more votes needed to pass in the Senate, with a total of 22 wildcards including Nick Xenophon and Communications Minister Stephen Conroy yet to announce their positions.
Write your members and tell them what you think. Find out where your MP Stands