The Federal Parliament has overwhelmingly passed marriage equality with only four dissenting votes in the House of Representatives vote this evening.
Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon says she feels ‘honoured and humbled’ to have been part of the historic vote.
“Finally, Federal marriage law aligns with the values and wishes of the majority of Australians,” Ms Claydon said.
“I hope this resounding ‘yes’ vote puts an end to the cruel slurs and vicious attacks that LGBTIQ Australians and rainbow families have been subjected to ever since the Prime Minister decided to farm out basic human rights to a public vote.”
Ms Claydon said she ‘couldn’t have been prouder’ to be Newcastle’s federal representative during the momentous week.
“Newcastle delivered the highest YES vote in New South Wales outside of Sydney and the highest YES regional in Australia,” Ms Claydon said.
“I’d also like to pay special tribute to my predecessor and former Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Grierson who was the very first parliamentarian to sign Australian Marriage Equality’s Charter of Equality back in 2006.”
Ms Claydon said she was pleased the parliament rejected amendments proposed by opponents of marriage equality that could have delayed the passage of the Bill.
“It would be very concerning if the marriage equality debate, which is squarely aimed at the removal of discrimination, was used to justify new forms of discrimination,” Ms Claydon said.
“There is a legitimate conversation to be had around religious freedoms – especially how we reconcile cases where the rights and beliefs of one person conflict with the rights and beliefs of another.
“However, there are already two parliamentary committees looking at these questions, and it would do no justice to the issues to try to shoehorn them into the unrelated marriage equality debate.”