On Wednesday morning, the Australian people delivered the largest electoral landslide in our history.
Not only did the ‘Yes’ campaign win over a majority of Australians, we also delivered decisive majorities in every state and territory as well as 133 electorates, including our own where 58 per cent of people voted in favour of reform.
The people have spoken. The mandate is clear: We want marriage equality now.
As one of the architects of this public vote, Hume MP Angus Taylor has committed himself to disregarding his own personal views and fulfilling the will of the people.
Well, Mr Taylor, it's time to make good on that promise. We spent $122 million and the message couldn't be clearer. Just get it done.
No efforts to slow down the passage of this legislation will be acceptable.
While this campaign has been hard – at times even toxic – I couldn't be prouder of the way we conducted ourselves throughout. When ‘Yes’ opponents went low, we went high. Both locally and nationally, we raised the level of debate. We brought people together. We never surrendered our dignity and we won over a nation.
The Australian people rejected divisiveness in favour of compassion and love. We've always seen ourselves as the land of the fair go and on Wednesday, we proved it.
Let’s get this done.
- TOM SEBO, Hume for Marriage Equality
Now it’s the pollies’ turn
Politicians’ efforts to protect religious freedom in same-sex marriage legislation are understandable, given the separation of church and state in our democracy.
Churches should be able to hold true to long-standing beliefs without risk of litigation. But politicians have an obligation to uphold the will of the people when it comes to civil law. Currently they are treading a fine line with several bills under negotiation to bring the same-sex marriage vote into law.
WA Senator Dean Smith’s bill would allow some marriage celebrants to refuse to marry a gay couple. That would run counter to the vote outcome and should not be accepted. Hume MP Angus Taylor supports Mr Smith’s bill but we do not know where he stands on this point. Certainly he wants freedom of religion, speech and parental choice protections. That’s a wide-ranging wishlist and risks undermining the majority opinion unless deftly handled.
We await the result with interest.