21 November 2017
(Matter of Public Importance, 16 November 2017, Legislative Assembly, NSW Parliament)
By leave: I thank the member for Summer Hill for introducing this matter of public importance to the Parliament. I am sure she will not mind me thanking her amazing staff even more, as they have played a significant role in this campaign. Yesterday was a historic occasion for Australia as people from across the country came together to deliver an unequivocal mandate to our Federal Parliament to legislate for marriage equality as soon as possible.
As speakers have already said, we saw immense leadership throughout the campaign coast to coast, whether it was in rural and regional communities or leading corporations. People stood up for their LGBTIQ mates and did everything they could to make sure that yes was a success. That mandate has finally been heard loud and clear in our nation's capital.
I was fortunate to be there last night to celebrate with friends across the political spectrum, including Sarah Hanson-Young and Tim Wilson. This morning I was able to see history being made in the Federal Senate when legislation was introduced to achieve marriage equality. This is legislation that every member of the Parliament can finally vote on.
What was particularly significant was that the debate on the bill introduced by Senator Dean Smith was led by the LGBTI members of the Senate: Senator Dean Smith, Senator Penny Wong, Senator Janet Rice and Senator Louise Pratt. It was a historic occasion to have a marriage equality bill with the first batch of speakers being people whom the reform personally affects.
I thank the family that came together for the yes campaign. Those people had worked for marriage equality for more than 10 years, particularly in the intense past two years and the particularly intense 10-week period leading up to the plebiscite. I salute the great leadership of dedicated volunteers and the best campaigners in the world, which was reflected in the great result yesterday.
My favourite moment of the results announcement was when Councillor Christine Foster delivered the result for Warringah, where 75 per cent of the people who voted were in favour of marriage equality. That was a particularly important result for her and her family.
My favourite result was from the Gilmore electorate, which showed 62 per cent of those who voted in favour of marriage equality. As the Speaker and the member for Kiama know, the strong and inspiring campaign in that electorate was led by Dawn Hawkins and every percentage point of this great result belongs to her. This result was reflected right across the country.
I finish by thanking my husband, Victor. Yesterday he was asked what Australia's delivering marriage equality will mean to him. He said it will mean that he gets Alex back. I thank Victor for his 10 years of support while we have been campaigning for marriage equality.