speech can also be viewed here. This video courtesy of Kathryn Bird facebook
15 November 2017, Canberra, Australia
One of my great hopes is that this does not become a case where there are the acceptable gays, who are the married ones, and the other ones, who are the non acceptable gays.
This is for all of us, no matter what way we want to live our lives.
It is that we must live as equal people within this country,
And the great thing is ... I’m always very moved ... thank you for the welcome to country, every time I’m at an event, I’m always struck by the warmth and generosity that our indigenous brothers and sisters give us, to this land.
Because apart from them, all of us have come from somewhere else seeking a safe, civilised society.
White Australia began, literally, as a prison. A place for the dregs of society to be dumped and to rot in isolation. A mere 239 years later, it has become one of the most stable, peaceful democracies in the world.
Now we have voted through one of the last remaining pieces of inequality that exists in the legislation.
That shows that a belief in this country for a second chance for people, to not judge people, by their looks, by whatever sexual identity or cultural or ethnic or religious identity, is core to our beliefs, this is not something that’s added on it comes from our history. That welcome extended to us by indigenous people, the reciprocity of that is so important to the way this society is formed, and the way we see ourselves as Australians.
And I hope that we are all mindful in this moment, of other people who don’t have the advantages that we have, and are still struggling with lack of opportunity and inequality, and that we reach out our hands to all of them, but also, as we said, to people who voted ‘no’.
Now in the legislation that is coming ahead, we’ve all heard the rumours ... we’ve all seen the legislation actually that they’re proposing.
And it would actually create a form of segregation, for LGBTQI people who wish to marry. Well I’m saying, as an LGBTQI person, no matter what the result would have been, I would never have treated anyone who voted no with anything less than respect. I would never not serve them. I would never not ‘be funny’ for them.
None of us can live in a bubble where we try to pretend that other people don't exist. We must find ways to reach out our hands across the divide that's been created by this unfortunate survey, and go forward with a deep and good faith understanding of one another, as a nation.
I also think it's a moment for pure humble gratitude.
WE are so lucky to live in this country. When we think about the other countries, where just for being who we are, we could be killed, bashed pushed off a tower.
And this sends a message that this country does not stand for that sort of behaviour, that this is civilised country, that this is a secular country, that this is a country that allows religious freedom. And this is a country that believes in equality and justice, and we've had virtually no leadership in this, we have led ourselves.
And so we can rely on the Australian people to do the bloody right thing.
Oh, I did promise I'd do an Irish dance if we won.