Senator Sarah Hanson-Young’s emotional plea for marriage equality

The Greens’ Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has delivered an emotional speech in support of marriage equality as the senate debates the legislation that will allow same sex couples to wed.

Senator Hanson-Young said there had never been a greater political mandate in Australia than the call for marriage equality.  The long standing campaigner said conservative MPs would stand against the calls for change ‘at their own peril’, telling them to sit down and be quiet if they didn’t have anything nice to say.

“There has never been a greater political mandate in this country than there is today for marriage equality.” Senator Hanson-Young declared.

“Unfortunately we have a handful of ultra-conservative right wing MPs and senators trying to spoil the party, and ignore the will of the people. Well it is to their downfall, and to their peril if they try to disrupt this progress now.”

Senator Hanson-Young fought back tears as she described the regret she felt that the law had not been changed while former Greens leader Bob Brown was in the parliament.

Senator Hanson-Young said the party’s former leader was someone who always stood for the rights and equal treatment of others, and stood proudly in both the Tasmanian parliament and the federal parliament as a gay man.

“When Bob retired in 2012, I said to him, ‘Bob, I’m really sorry that we haven’t been able to reverse that awful law’. Today I stand here with my Greens colleagues finishing the job that Bob Brown started.”

Senator Hanson-Young also paid tribute to former Liberal Senator Sue Boyce who in 2013 was the first Liberal member to cross the floor in support of marriage equality.

The South Australian senator recalled that marriage equality advocates had come to see her during her first week in parliament and encouraged her to take up the cause of marriage equality.

In 2008 Senator Hanson-Young introduced her first private members bill calling for the marriage laws to be changed. Today the senator said she welcomed the passing of Senate Smith’s bill.

OIP Staff

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