Coalition Marriage Policy

I join Senator Moore in opposing this motion, I thank Senator Moore for the respect she has shown for different views in her contribution and I reaffirm that I very much respect the different views that are brought to this issue. 

There are different views, as is known, in our Nationals party room, in the Liberal party room and in the coalition party room; and there are different views in the Labor party room as well. I respect all of those views and yesterday we had a very respectful and very reasoned discussion in our party room about these issues. It is absolutely within the right of the Nationals party room, the Liberal party room and the joint coalition party room to come to a party position on any issue, and this issue as well, just as it is the right of the Labor Party caucus to come to its position on this issue and just as it is the right of the Greens party room to do the same. I do respect that diversity of views and I think we should celebrate that diversity of views in our parliament and in our community. That is what we come together to debate. We should have a respectful debate with a diversity of views that we come here to resolve—not through political stunts but through the debating of legislation and, as Senator Moore said, proper process.

I think it is extremely unfortunate that there are one group in this parliament who do not respect that diversity of views. There are one group who preach diversity constantly and always talk about how they want to celebrate diversity but, in fact, are the pillars of uniformity. They are the defenders of uniformity and oppression of different views. They do not really celebrate diversity; they do not really respect different views; they want everybody to only come up with their view—and, if you do not share their view, you are evil, you are terrible and you should be ostracised. That is not the kind of parliament that I want to be part of. That is not the kind of debate that I want to be involved in.

Look at the Greens party—look at them. They just reek diversity, don't they, Senator O'Sullivan? They absolutely reek it. They are a diverse party unit with different views. They are sanctimoniously saying that our party should have a conscience vote on this issue. When have the Greens ever had a conscience vote? They always vote as one. They vote as a block; they vote always as one. It is a remarkable thing that the Greens all have the same views. We had a six-hour party room debate on this issue yesterday, with very different views and very reasonable contributions. I hazard a guess that the Greens would never have a six-hour party room meeting, because they all agree with each other. A party room meeting for the Greens would be, 'What are your thoughts, Richard?' 'What are your thoughts, Larissa?' 'Yes, I agree;' 'I agree;' 'I agree—done. We can all go home.' That would be a good party room—'We can all go to the pub early.'

Yesterday, The Australian reported not on this issue but on climate change. The Greens discussed the government's target on climate change, which was also announced yesterday, and surprise, surprise! According to the report:

The Greens party room also discussed the government's target. The party's MPs agreed it was "an all-around science fail"—

Surprise, surprise!

—and they "all nodded vigorously", a senior source said.

They all nodded vigorously. They are a party of nodders; they nod over everything. They do not ever disagree. There is never any debate in the Greens; they all agree, and I think that is an unfortunate thing because it is a great thing that we can come together with different views and celebrate that diversity of views.

This issue is not going to be resolved today after the Greens' stunt, but this issue, hopefully, will be resolved with a respectful debate in our community—hopefully with a people's vote, because I think this is something that people are very passionate about, and it should be decided by the people. If we are going to have it decided by the people we need to have a respectful debate. We need to have a debate where other people's views are not oppressed and they are not ostracised. All of us need to be allowed to come to a view with our own personal experience, and let the community decide it. In my view, there is a certain level of oppression of views on this issue. It is an unfortunate tendency by some. I hope that in the years and months ahead we can have a respectful debate, and we can have the Australian people decide it and this issue can be resolved one way or another.

Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.



get updates