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'Gay people are just people': Liberal senator

Date
Queensland Senator Sue Boyce has spoken out in favour of gay marriage.

Queensland Senator Sue Boyce has spoken out in favour of gay marriage. Photo: Paul Harris

A Liberal senator has broken ranks to speak in favour of gay marriage, as party colleagues began talks on bringing forward a same-sex civil unions bill.

A day after the lower house voted down a Labor private member's bill to allow same-sex marriage, the Senate continued to debate a similar bill.

Queensland senator Sue Boyce told parliament she supported the "intention" of the bill, but accused Labor of cynicism for bringing it on for the debate knowing that it would fail.

"The big news is that gay people are just people," she said.

"There are good gays and bad gays; rich gays and poor gays; gays who want to get married and gays who don't; gays who like footie and gays who don't; gays who want children and those who don't."

It is unclear whether Senator Boyce will cross the floor, but the bill is still likely to fail a vote expected late on Thursday.

Chief opposition whip Warren Entsch said he was talking to colleagues about a civil partnerships bill.

"I have already dusted it out from the drawer. I had it out immediately after the vote," Mr Entsch told ABC radio on Thursday.

"I have already spoken to a number of colleagues."

He acknowledged such a bill was inferior for a part of the community but he believed it had more chance of passing parliament.

"There is also a lot of people out there, and not necessarily in the gay community, who are quite happy to take this up as an alternative," Mr Entsch said.

He said comments from Liberal senator Cory Bernardi during the same-sex marriage debate on Tuesday were "totally inappropriate".

Senator Bernardi resigned from the frontbench team on Wednesday, under pressure from Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, after the South Australian suggested allowing gay marriage could lead to polygamy and bestiality.

Senator Bernardi is heading to a European Young Conservative Freedom Summit in Oxford, England, this weekend.

The UK's Mail Online quoted a Conservative party spokesman as saying: "We strongly condemn Mr Bernardi's comments which don't reflect (Prime Minister) David Cameron's or the Conservative party's viewpoint in any way."

British Labour said his appearance at the event was "astonishing" and accused the Tories of paying "lip service" to equality.

Greens leader Christine Milne noted there were various forms of civil union in a number of states and territories including the ACT, Tasmania, Victoria, NSW and Queensland.

"I would argue that it entrenches discrimination against gay people because it's saying we will entrench the discrimination against gay people because you cannot marry," Senator Milne said.

Labor senator Doug Cameron said the gay community in Australia deserved more than a civil partnerships bill.

AAP

362 comments

  • I'm glad someone from the Libs can say it how it is. Just like people with brown hair are just people, people with disabilities are just people, Asian people are just people, people who believe in a different 'god' from you are just people. See how ridiculous discrimination is? Standing where you're standing in your life with your beliefs and telling others that they're in the wrong because of the way they ARE, because it doesn't 'fit' with your view of the world, is discrimination. Supremacist attitudes, of any kind, have no place in contemporary society.

    Commenter
    exactly!
    Date and time
    September 20, 2012, 11:31AM
    • Hear hear

      Commenter
      Babyboomer
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      September 20, 2012, 12:09PM
    • Hi there mate to quote you directly "Standing where you're standing in your life with your beliefs and telling others that they're in the wrong because of the way they ARE, because it doesn't 'fit' with your view of the world, is discrimination. Supremacist attitudes, of any kind, have no place in contemporary society"

      Can I ask you something then, what would you think on the subjects below?

      1. if you see someone being hurt/bashed/killed/hang/untreated fairly,
      2. if you see a parents allowing kids as young as todler to watch porn?
      3. If you see a parents trying to raise their daughter as a son? dressed like a man, play like a man, think like man?
      4. incest marriage?
      5. Mother and son sexual relationships?

      You don't have to be told by Christian or any religion that point 1 - 5 is incoorect, is just common sense and norms mate, not being supremacist.

      Sorry you live in society and you have to live by the norms that we lived in. The norms is for Gay marriage amongst other things are sadly to say is not fully accepted by society yet, I for one thinks its wrong not because my religion but due to common sense.

      There are those that like to force their opinon on killing others etc, but for gay people to get married means all they have to do is to go to other country that allows gay marriages simple. No one if forbidding them to live together and what not.

      Commenter
      Common sense
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      September 20, 2012, 12:12PM
    • let the people of australia vote. i bet the bill would pass in a second :)

      Commenter
      Fi
      Location
      melb
      Date and time
      September 20, 2012, 12:12PM
    • Turnbull has also been eloquent on the subject, but has been prohibited from voting with his conscience by his dear leader.

      Commenter
      Jace
      Location
      Syd
      Date and time
      September 20, 2012, 12:15PM
    • I'm sorry, I use the word marriage to define anything that has a union.

      Commenter
      Sutherland
      Location
      Shire
      Date and time
      September 20, 2012, 12:49PM
    • spare me - agreed

      Commenter
      max2
      Location
      melb
      Date and time
      September 20, 2012, 4:06PM
    • Seems to me that instructing a collective party of individuals to vote a given way and not affording them to vote independently appears to align more with communism that democracy. Sadly that says a lot about the direction of the Liberal party and its leadership. Hats off to Sue Boyce for breaking ranks!

      Commenter
      Rob
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      September 20, 2012, 12:19PM
    • That's right Exactly! Supremacists and homophobes are just people too. Apparently in free and democatic Australia everybody is entitled to their opinion - so long as it doesn't offend certain groups who seem to be exempt from any form of criticism, insult or parody.

      Commenter
      Phibes
      Location
      NSW
      Date and time
      September 20, 2012, 12:23PM
    • @ Common Sense

      I think you have confused "Common" with "Non".

      Commenter
      Amused
      Date and time
      September 20, 2012, 12:23PM

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