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Senator Penny Wong's Brazen Retort To Same-Sex Marriage Plebiscite

"This is not a unifying moment."

Senator Penny Wong's Brazen Retort To Same-Sex Marriage Plebiscite

An impassioned speech opposing the same-sex marriage plebiscite, delivered by Labor frontbencher Penny Wong, has garnered huge praise.

Wong, who is in a same-sex marriage – dismissed the plebiscite as an “expensive stunt”.

She said many in the Liberal-Nationals coalition could not countenance equality and were never going to change their minds whatever the result of the poll.

"They simply cannot countenance people like me and others being equal - simple as that," she told parliament on Wednesday.

“There are a lot of things you could do with $120 million: GP visits, more teachers. I am sure we can go through a whole range of things that $122 million can be spent on far better than a vote that is not going to be binding.”

“I wouldn't mind so much if you were prepared to speak out on it. If the Prime Minister was prepared to stand up and say "that is wrong". Maybe he can stand up for some people who don't have a voice. Because we know the sort of debate that is already there. Let me say, for many children in same-sex couple families and for many young LGBTI kids, this ain't a respectful debate already.”

She said that Australian Christian Lobby referred to the children of parents in a same-sex relationship as a “stolen generation”

“The Australian Christian lobby described our children as the stolen generation. We love our children. And I object, as do every person who cares about children, and as do all those couples in this country, same-sex couples who have kids, to be told our children are a stolen generation. You talk about unifying moments? It is not a unifying moment. It is exposing our children to that kind of hatred.

She also criticised the Prime Minister for his absence in the discussion.

“I wouldn't mind so much if you were prepared to speak out on it. If the Prime Minister was prepared to stand up and say "that is wrong". Maybe he can stand up for some people who don't have a voice. Because we know the sort of debate that is already there. Let me say, for many children in same-sex couple families and for many young LGBTI kids, this ain't a respectful debate already.”

The same-sex marriage bill was defeated in the senate this morning 31-31. It is now likely Australia will go to a postal vote later this year.

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