Parliament Speeches on Same-Sex Marriage Become Emotionally Charged in Final Week of Debates

Storyful

From heartfelt to bizarrely offensive, the debates to allow same-sex marriage couples to marry became emotionally charged ahead of the final vote on same-sex marriage on December 7.

Thursday was set to be a historic day for gay marriage advocates in Australia, with same-sex marriage expected to pass in the late afternoon. More than 100 MPs had delivered speeches, many emotional, in the lead-up to the final vote with most in support of changes to the Marriage Act. Before the vote was to be finalised later on Thursday, the House of Representatives was set to debate a number of proposed conservative amendments that were expected to be voted down, according to BuzzFeed News.

Many parliamentarians bared their personal history and pains in the lower house. Liberal Party member Sarah Henderson teared up as she spoke about her friend gay friend John Parker, who died months earlier and was waiting for the Marriage Act to change.

Linda Burney, who took leave after a family tragedy, on Tuesday gave a speech in support of gay marriage, paying tribute to her son Binni, who took his own life at the end of October.

Not all speeches backed gay marriage, however. On Thursday night, Queensland MP Bob Katter, who went viral for his dismissal of gay marriage in light of fatal crocodile attacks, delivered a 15-minute speech declaring that same-sex marriage was not of interest of gay couples because heterosexual couples weren’t getting married either. He called the speeches made in Parliament up until that point “drivel” and made reference to the AIDS epidemic and blood transfusions before being chastised by his colleague Christopher Pyne who said his statements were “rubbish”. Credit: Australian Parliament House via Storyful

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