Despite political trickery orchestrated by Prime Minister Tony Abbott essentially dooming it to fail, Liberal Party MP Warren Enstch today introduced a marriage equality bill into the Lower House.
The bill, however fruitless an endeavour in the current political climate it may be, nevertheless serves as a historical step forward in the push to legislate for marriage equality in Australia, being a bill that has been co-sponsored and received unprecedented cross party support.
Enstch introduced the bill into Parliament today for its second reading, delivering an extremely moving speech to a sparsely populated room – the Government side of which featured the appearances of just Malcolm Turnbull and Christopher Pyne from the Coalition front bench.
“The main purpose of this bill is not a complex one. It is to give same-sex couples in Australia the same right to marry the person they love as that which is currently only granted by law to heterosexual couples.”
“This bill is designed to promote an inclusive Australia, not a divided one. A divided nation is what we will be if we continue to allow discrimination in relation to marriage on the basis of a person’s sexuality.”
The House as Warren Entsch introduced a private member’s bill on marriage equality pic.twitter.com/U7rla4ze7o
— andrew meares (@mearesy) August 17, 2015
Warren Entsch introduces #SSM bill surrounded by cross party support & front benchers @cpyne & @TurnbullMalcolm pic.twitter.com/J5O57zWjX8
— Mikearoo (@mpbowers) August 17, 2015
As he delivered the speech, Entsch was flanked by the bill’s co-sponsor, Labor’s Terri Butler, as well as other backers of the bill, including Labor MP Laurie Ferguson, the Liberals’ Teresa Gambero, Greens MP Adam Bandt, as well as crossbenchers Andrew Wilkie and Cathy McGowan.
Sitting on the Liberal side in support of Entsch was also former Federal Treasurer and Labor backbencher Wayne Swan, Labor MP Graham Perrett, and Liberal MP Wyatt Roy, whose support for marriage equality was revealed to PEDESTRIAN.TV in a recent chat.
Enstch embraced his co-sponsors as the speech concluded to applause from the room. Though it remains highly unlikely that the bill will even receive a debate in Parliament.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Abbott had orchestrated a media event that was held at the AFP Training Facility, away from Parliament House – at the exact same time that Entsch was scheduled to introduce the bill.
Fairfax Ipsos polling released this morning shows that as many as 69% of all Australians are in favour of marriage equality.
via ABC News.