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Same-Sex Marriages

Senator HANSON-YOUNG (South Australia) (3.40 pm) - I move:

That the Senate -

(a) notes:
(i) the first same-sex marriages were celebrated in Mexico City in the week beginning 7 March 2010, following the recent passage of legislation removing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, under that city's Marriage Act, and

(ii) Mexico City joins Portugal, Canada, the Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, Norway, Spain, South Africa and many states in the United States of America that already recognise same-sex marriage as a reality;

(b) recognises that all Australians deserve to be treated fairly and equally, regardless of their sexual orientation and that Australia is becoming increasingly isolated internationally, by refusing to remove discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation from the Marriage Act 1961 (the Act); and

(c) calls on the Australian Government to remove all discrimination from the Act on the basis of sexuality and gender identity and extend the legal right to marry to all.

Senator LUDWIG (Queensland-Manager of Government Business in the Senate) (3.40 pm) - I seek leave to make a short statement in relation to the motion.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT - Leave is granted for two minutes.

Senator LUDWIG - The government believes that all couples who have a mutual commitment to a shared life should have the opportunity to have their relationship officially recognised. That is why the Rudd government supports the development of a nationally consistent framework that provides the opportunity for all couples who have a mutual commitment to a shared
life to have their relationships officially recognised.

Such a framework can be implemented consistently with the government's commitment to maintain the current definition of ‘marriage' in the Marriage Act 1961. This is the most appropriate way to provide the opportunity for all couples who have a mutual commitment to a shared life to have their relationships officially recognised.

Question negatived.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG (South Australia) (3.41 pm) - Mr Deputy President, I would like it specified on the record that it was the Greens who voted yes and the Labor Party and the opposition who voted no.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT - I think that was carefully explained by Senator Ludwig.

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