Leader of the Labor Party Bill Shorten introduced a bill to legalise same-sex marriages and proposed changes to the Marriage Act.
In a rousing speech at the Parliament session, which saw near-empty benches, Shorten encouraged the members to replace the usage of words ‘man and woman’ by ‘two people’ in the context of marriages. “To some, this may seem a small gesture. In truth, this means so much, to so many. To all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex Australians, we offer change that says: your relationship is equal under the law,” said Shorten.
Shorten was also reported saying, “Let this law reflect the nation we all want to see in the mirror. Generous, smart, modern, diverse and above all, equal.”
Deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek reportedly seconded the bill before the debate was adjourned.
Referring to Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s remarks about being focused on budget, and not gay marriages, Shorten said, ““The world isn’t waiting for Tony Abbott and our parliament shouldn’t have to.”