Sussan on Gay Marriage rights

The Border Mail – Mon 22nd Nov

And an extract on the issue from a speech by Sussan last week….

“….As you may be aware, Federal Parliament is being urged to get in touch with its feelings towards same-sex marriage.

I note there is no legislation on the table before the Parliament affecting the current status of the Marriage Act, rather a proposal we get in touch with our constituents on this subject.

It is a somewhat penetrating glimpse of the obvious to ask local members to refer to their constituents for their views.

My constituents are continually in touch with me as I travel the electorate and, if I do not run into them, then they certainly can and do email me.

If they have got something to say, they say it.

We will of course, as a Parliament, discuss issues around the recognition of same-sex couples, as we have many other critical social matters over the last few years.

According to Roy Morgan Research in my electorate of Farrer 29 per cent of Australians say that homosexuality is immoral.

I vigorously disagree with this assessment in terms of rights and the recognition same-sex couples should have.

I am always suspicious of statistics but perhaps the research indicates we need to work harder to convince some who are not as comfortable with the idea of same-sex relationships.

We in the Liberal and National parties—I certainly speak for the Liberal Party—are committed to equal rights under the law for same-sex couples.

For my children, it is almost a no-brainer.

When you compare my class of 1979 to my daughter’s class of 2010, you can see attitudes towards homosexuality, towards gays and lesbians, have changed dramatically.

I take pride in our society recognising this change but there are still young men and women in our small country towns who are, quite honestly, mentally tortured, distressed and very worried about societal attitudes to their sexuality— something they often have no person control over. So there is more work to be done in our rural areas.

Our communities need to embrace the differences between every child and, as they grow through adolescence, every type of relationship…”

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