THE MP who chaired the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs Inquiry into same-sex marriage, Graham Perrett, has encouraged fellow MPs to “vote with the courage of their convictions”.
He opened his ‘Foreword’ to what is called an ‘Advisory Report’ (which is published this week), with a quote from Australian Rugby player David Pocock, which he found in Marie Claire, (July 2012, p. 44) “I believe every human being is precious and we are all part of God’s family – and that marriage is a beautiful thing and should not be used as a weapon to promote prejudice.”
Mr Perrett said he was “a little taken aback to read of his progressive and tolerant approach to marriage equality.” and followed that with, “Either footy has changed significantly since I played it, or this nation has. And after conducting an inquiry into marriage legislation I now know it is the latter”.
There you have the gist of this report – Australia is now progressive and tolerant and we should change the Marriage Act to include ‘same-sex couples’.
The Committee received 276,437 responses and estimates that more than 60% supported changes to the Act. The survey was certainly not scientific, in fact it was extremely unreliable because it was a self-select process and could easily be hijacked by ‘regressive’ left wing groups such as GetUp!
He then states, “I am proud to have been a part of the Commonwealth Parliament that in 2008 rectified in a bi-partisan way many of the financial disadvantages that same-sex couples endured compared to their opposite-sex de facto and married counterparts. The opportunity to take the step of publicly declaring a couple’s love and commitment by entering into a marriage is the final discriminatory hurdle for same-sex couples.”
He is right – this is the last ‘hurdle in ‘normalising’ sexual relationships between same-sex people – something NO society has ever been ‘progressive’ enough to do in the history of human existence, until now.
Why? Because they all knew what we still know today, but are now not allowed to say, that same-sex relationships are unnatural, unhealthy and a perversion of human sexuality.
Actually, it is good we do not live in Quebec, because for that statement of fact I would now be placed on a “registry of homophobic acts” for such a statement. Yes, the Quebec Justice Department has just set up such a registry to compile a dossier on anyone who dares display “any negative word or act toward a homosexual or homosexuality in general”.
And just in case you think “that is just Quebec”, our own Victorian Human Rights and (un)Equal Opportunity Commission has the same definition of homophobia!
Back to the 88 page Report…
Chairman Perrett also states in his ‘foreword’, “It is important to remember that God did not write the Marriage Act. It is written by lawyers and legislators and must reflect the views and values of today. And every Member of Parliament is charged with the duty of ensuring that our laws best protect the values and beliefs of all of the people we represent. To achieve this end, I fully support the legalisation of marriage for couples of the same sex and the intent of both the Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2012 and the Marriage Amendment Bill 2012″..
Just to put the final screws on any unprogressive MP left in the parliament, he concludes his foreword with these words, “As Members of Parliament it is now time for you to respond to the growing public support for same-sex marriage and to lead the nation by categorically opposing laws that legitimise discrimination. Government is made up of individual members. You may belong to one party or another, but now is the time for each of you to take a stand. To go against your conscience is neither right nor safe.”
Is there anything left to say? Only if you are stupid enough to be prepared to stick your head above the trench and chance having it shot at!
Well, we are, even though our written submission appears to have been rejected by the committee.
Fortunately, there were dissenting voices on the committee but they were relegated to the ‘Additional comments’ commencing on pages 57 onwards – but even then only after Mr Perrett and his deputy Laura Smyth have another 2 pages of comment and then Mr Perrett has 10 pages to cite comments received from the public. The vast majority he includes are in favour of changing the Act.
On page 67, Committee members Shayne Neumann and Mike Symon, both Labor Party MPs, opposed any changes to the Marriage Act, stating, “We do not believe there is anything like sufficient community consensus which would justify changes to such a fundamental societal institution as marriage. Marriage, as the union between one man and one woman has been steeped in history, law, culture and religion for millennia. This is a fact which cannot be denied.”
Then came Sharman Stone on page 69 and Ross Vasta, both Liberal MPs, who also opposed any changes.
Finally, on page 73 came Adam Bandt, Greens MP, who, of course, totally supports a change to the Act – He started his final remarks with the title, ‘You can’t hurry love’ and a statement claiming to have heard the will of the people of Australia, stating, “The Australian public is ready to remove discrimination from our marriage laws.”
And then his lament, “Unfortunately, the inquiry shows that although sentiment is changing, many Members of Parliament are still not yet ready for equality… On the one hand, the public would welcome Parliament doing the right thing and legislating for equal marriage. On the other, the Labor party is divided and not ready to support reform. As such, reform is now in the hands of Coalition members of goodwill, who have to date been prohibited from exercising a conscience vote. “
He wants to slow the process and hopes there will not be a vote NOW so he can convince more MPs to support change. He finally states, “I urge all members to reflect on the value of fairness, the importance of equality and the power of love. These forces make equal marriage inevitable. I sincerely hope that our current Parliament is the one to make this historic change.”!
This report does not signal a battle lost, but it is not a win either.
We too need more time, Time to wake people up to the disaster that would beset our nation if we change the Marriage Act.
Apathy and compromise will lose us this battle – we all need to understand why we have to fight and not grow weary – stay the course despite our own side letting us down so often.
Click here to read the full Report from the House of Reps Committee.
Please write once again, no matter how many times you have already, to YOUR Federal MP and urge them to vote AGAINST ANY CHANGE to the Marriage Act and ANY compromise such as a National Civil Partnership/Union bill or Relationship Register.
Click here for federal MP details.
PO Box 6049, Wantirna, Victoria, 3152
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