darren.chester.mp@aph.gov.au 1300 131 785
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Mr CHESTER (GippslandMinister for Infrastructure and Transport) (12:41): I rise to speak on the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017.

The Australian people were asked a simple question in the postal ballot:

Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?

The Australian people have voted yes. The people of Gippsland have voted yes. And I also will be voting yes. The people have spoken in what was quite a remarkable celebration of our magnificent democracy and there is no need for me to delay the parliament any further. It is time to get this done.

I want to thank the people of Gippsland for the respectful manner in which the vast majority of people participated in this debate. I’m proud to be their member in this place. I will be working respectfully to ensure that this is a moment that unites our region and unites our nation, rather than divides it. I conclude with a quote from Nelson Mandela:

No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.

I thank the House.

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