Marriage equality speech in Parliament

Everyone deserves the right to marry. We have seen in very recent days in Ireland scenes of incredible joy. We are seeing lives transformed through the democratic process and through recognition that no person should be excluded from relationship statuses granted by the state. I am very proud that Labor, through the Leader of the Opposition and the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, are bringing forward a private member's bill to give us a chance to join Ireland and so many other countries in the world in making marriage equality a reality. It gives all of us in this place an enormous opportunity to remove an ugly piece of discrimination from our statutes books—an opportunity to say that no person should be denied access to marriage by reason of who they are. This is an opportunity that I hope members across this chamber and in the other place will grasp. It is an opportunity to reflect on the joy on the faces that we saw in Ireland. Lives are literally being transformed by bringing people into full citizenship. I ask members opposite and I ask my colleagues to think about how we can best uphold our own relationships—those of us who are married. In my view, my marriage is diminished, not enhanced, by the fact that it is a status not available to all Australians.

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