The Australian public may have voted convincingly in favor of allowing same-sex marriage in the country, but politicians continue to debate over how exactly this will happen.
Although equality campaigners are hopeful that a bill will be passed before Christmas, conservative-leaning politicians are trying to include amendments that may include religious exemptions.
The debate returned to the Australian Senate today. One of those to speak was Greens Senator for South Australia, Sarah Hanson-Young.
Hanson-Young has been a keen supporter of marriage equality. She has previously introduced seven bills to legalize same-sex marriage, all of which have failed.
Hanson-Young: ‘It’s now time for the Senate to do our job’
She began by addressing the efforts made by former Greens leader, Bob Brown, to bring about marriage equality.
‘When Bob retired in 2012 I said to him “I’m really sorry we haven’t been able to reverse that awful law before your time was up”,’ she said, before becoming tearful.
‘So today I stand here with my Greens colleagues finishing the job Bob Brown started. Boy, this parliament has come such a long way. Twenty bills have been introduced to reverse this awful law. Seven of them, embarrassingly so, in my name.
‘It’s now time for the Senate to do our job and get this done, without the muddying of the waters of those who have always been opposed to equal love.’
— Christine Vanden Byllaardt (@cvbyllaardt) November 27, 2017
Hanson-Young later jokingly tweeted, ‘I guess I shouldn’t have worn mascara. Oops!’
I guess I shouldn’t have worn mascara. Oops! ❤️🌈
— 💚🌏 Sarah Hanson-Young (@sarahinthesen8) November 27, 2017
One of those who her comments may have been directed towards include Liberal senator Zed Seselja.
He used today’s debate to continue to push for adding conservative amendments. He argues the views of those who voted ‘no’ to same-sex marriage should not be ignored.
‘We should not completely reject the views of the millions of Australians, nearly 40 per cent, that said “no,”.’
The Senate will devote this week to discussing the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017. Once the bill has been agreed, it will pass to the Australian Parliament for voting.
If it passes through Parliament before the Christmas break, it’s expected that the first same-sex marriages will take place in Australia in mid-January.