Love in Perth rally: Alannah MacTiernan

Alannah MacTiernanloveinperth-001

Member for Perth Alannah MacTiernan has been a vocal proponent for marriage equality for many years now. The Labor MP spoke passionately today of the opposition the force for equality faces in the Australian Parliament.

“Australia used to lead the world, we were one of the first nations to give all men and woman the vote, regardless of property, regardless of gender. We were world leaders, ladies and gentlemen, now we aren’t. Now we are pulling the chain. I think this is really sad that a country like Australia whose very story is based on equality that we should be bringing up the rear on this important issue.”

Ms MacTiernan identified three major points of argument that may be faced by proponents of equality and how best to address these concerns.

“I think the impediments in Parliament, there’s three problems. One, that there are some people genuinely scared about change and there are some people who are going to sit on the Super Six, and there are some people who love wedging. They love creating the division.

To that first group, we have to tell them. We have to get them to understand that it is an entirely positive thing. This is about… gay men, gay women wanting to come together and form partnerships. Wanting to share the love. Wanting to have their relationships honoured. Wanting to provide the environment where they can raise a family. We’ve got to show those people that change is actually good.

We’ve got to show those people sitting on the Super Six that there are so many people, gay people, their families, parents, people who are willing to share the community, to understand that you have the same rights and dignity in your relationships as everyone else.

And we’ve got to show those people who make their career on wedging, who make their career on creating division in our society, creating ‘us and thems’ that this is not the world that we want. This is not the Australia that we want.”

Ms MacTiernan also spoke of historical legislative changes in Australia’s past that were met with resistance, and how the fears of some individuals may be affecting our legacy as a progressive nation.

“We’ve seen before that people have been scared. When women were given equal rights there were people who were scared that was going to bring society down. When we scrapped the White Australia Policy there were people who were scared that that was going to bring Australia down, but every time that we have made our society more equal, made our society more inclusive, we have become better and we have become stronger and this fight for marriage equality will make us a stronger and better community for us all.”

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