I listened (until a late hour) to all the speeches to the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill. I was impressed by many who I wouldn't normally support, such as John Banks, who presented reasoned, rational arguments. I was impressed by almost all speakers from all sides of the house and even those who spoke against the bill. I appreciated the way that Jonathan Young graciously accepted that he was in the minority. I was moved by the references to those who had pioneered the way to this day and had endured some appalling treatment in doing so. This was Parliament at its best.
If only we could remember this moment where party politics were forgotten and MPs voted according to their conscience and their core values. Where economic considerations and restrictive budgets were set aside and the focus was purely on what was just and fair. It is wonderful that this process was used to give our GBLTI community the equality, justice and recognition they have dreamed of for eons.
I just wish that this example of how our political system could operate could be transferred to other issues. Some of these are:
- The right of a child to be properly supported and cared for and not have to experience poverty.
- The protection of our environment for future generations.
- The valuing of female dominated jobs that involve caring for our most vulnerable through fair pay and working conditions.
- The protection of our indigenous species and biodiversity for future generations.
- The rights of refugees to get support and protection from other nations.
- The right of families to be able to live in warm, healthy homes.
- The equal right to a quality education.
- The right to financial support when it is really needed without judgement or persecution.
- The right to question and protest decisions that may have a negative impact on people and the environment without persecution.
- The right to the necessities of life (food, shelter, heating, communication...) in an economic environment doesn't take advantage of those needs to increase profits unreasonably and restrict access to those who are economically disadvantaged.
- The right to legal support to ensure just and fair outcomes.
- The right to exist within an economy that is sustainable and equitable
Just imagine the different outcomes to budgets and legislation...