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Thank you Madam Acting Speaker. I rise to speak in support of the Chief Minister’s motion.
The campaign for Marriage Equality in Australia has been long and at times heartbreaking, but today we find ourselves at an interesting point along the road to equality.
Unfortunately we have now been presented with the option of a postal survey to determine how LGBTIQ Australians should be viewed and treated.
We have already seen and heard some of the hurtful debate targeted at same-sex couples, their families and the broader community.
Marriage Equality is about love and recognising that all love is equal.
It is about recognising LGBTIQ people are just the same as every other Australian.
It is not an attack on religion; the change in law will only apply to state marriages and will not impact a person’s religious beliefs.
Marriage Equality will not result in dysfunctional families; same-sex couples already foster loving and functional families with children who are loved and cared for.
Hurtful arguments are irrelevant to the debate.
It is important for LGTBIQ Canberrans, and particularly young people to know the ACT Government will continue to stand up for you and support the campaign for marriage equality.
We know a majority of Australians support recognising LGBTIQ Australians as equals.
This is what will drive all of us to participate in the survey and turn out an overwhelming yes vote.
While this postal survey is not how we wanted to achieve Marriage Equality, we cannot lose this opportunity to win.
It is critical that every supporter of equality is correctly enrolled to vote.
I urge all Canberrans to check and/or update their enrolment details.
Every vote will make a difference.
To the entire LGBTIQ community and those of us who are allies, talk to your friends, families and neighbours and encourage them to vote yes.
If we bring everyone with us throughout this campaign, I am confident we can win this fight and celebrate Marriage Equality by the end of the year.
Madam Acting Speaker, I am proud to stand with all of my Labor and Greens colleagues and a number of Canberra Liberals in support of marriage equality.
The ACT Barr Government will always stand up for the rights of LGBTIQ people, and I look forward to standing with our brothers and sisters out in the community over the coming weeks.
I appreciate those opposite have today asked us to not discriminate against those who vote no.
To you I say. What about if we just don’t discriminate full stop.
I will be voting yes and I encourage all Canberrans to vote yes as well.