Bill's Transcripts

KIIS FM : Marriage equality






SUBJECT/S: Marriage equality


HOST: Bill Shorten, good morning.


HOST: Bill, Bill.




HOST: The Honourable Bill Shorten.


HOST: We’ve been waiting for you Bill, I’ve been lonely all this time.


SHORTEN: I’m sorry, that’s bad of me.


HOST: And you’ve had the most boring lead in as we’ve tried desperately to fill the two minutes.


HOST: You’re here now though, that’s the most important thing.


SHORTEN: I’m really sorry.


HOST: That’s alright, tell us what you plan to introduce please.


SHORTEN: Next Monday I will introduce into the Parliament a bill to amend the Marriage Act to allow for marriage equality.


HOST: Yay!


HOST: Magnificent. So quick question then, that’s a conscience vote for your Party, no one will be expelled if they vote for or against?


SHORTEN: Yeah, we have a free vote on this matter. I get that for some peoples’ religious convictions they can’t come at the idea of marriage equality, most of my Party can and I do.


HOST: So what about in the Liberal Party? I believe if you vote against party lines there you can be expelled or is that you guys normally?


SHORTEN: Well the truth of the matter is we’re not going to get marriage equality up in this country unless Tony Abbot allows a free vote in the Liberal Party, because whilst most Labor people support it and a few don’t, we don’t have the numbers in the Parliament on our own.


HOST: Right and that’s my question because Malcolm Turnbull said, ‘look I think we’re a bit behind the eight ball, we should be going on this’. Do you think if Tony Abbott gives the conscience vote to the Liberals it would get up?


SHORTEN: I think if he gives a free vote to the Liberal Party it will come pretty close this time and I really, I just, the more you think about the question and I’ve supported marriage equality for some time, and as I explained to the Australian Christian Lobby last year I just can’t see the case against it.




SHORTEN: What matters in marriage is that people love each other, I don’t understand why some people should be excluded from certain rights that other people enjoy.


HOST: Yes.


HOST: It’s such a private thing, like my marriage doesn’t affect your marriage.


SHORTEN: That’s right and it’s your business.


HOST: And it just says when we don’t allow it, it just says to them your union is not as valid as ours and that just doesn’t seem fair to me.


SHORTEN: Yeah, you know, I believe in live and let live and people, how people want to construct their lives should be up to them and I don’t think it’s up to the state to say that there’s first class and second class relationships.


HOST: So will we have an answer do you think by Monday? Like the Libs might say by Sunday night they’ll going to have a conscience vote or not?


SHORTEN: No, what will happen, just so people understand is last night I put in a form saying that I have a proposition to amend the Marriage Act –


HOST: Yep.


SHORTEN: That will go on to the notice paper today, it’s a bit sort of formal, it’s a bit of an old school formula. Then next Monday I’ll stand up in the Parliament, we’ll talk to the reasons why we think marriage equality should be allowed in this country. Then there’ll be a debate, it could take days and weeks, it won’t all happen next Monday but I’m the leader of the alternative party of government in Australia, I’m saying that this is the direction the nation should go, that will be [inaudible], some people won’t like it but I think that Tony Abbott will have to then talk about this in his own party room to his own people. If the other side of politics are saying it’s time –

HOST: Yeah!


HOST: Yes!


SHORTEN: The time is right to do this –


HOST: Yep.


SHORTEN: Then it’s sort of, people have run out of excuses not to address it in their own party as well.


HOST: Well that’s right Bill and we’re just so pleased that you’re having a crack so good for you.


SHORTEN: Thanks guys that’s very nice of you, but a little way to go yet, and then if they do allow a free vote then we’ve got to persuade 76 out of 150 people.


HOST: That’s alright.


HOST: Yes, but a journey of a million steps starts with a single one.


HOST: Just, I would televise it so that the people can see who’s for and who’s against and I think you’ll find the politicians will sway pretty quickly with public opinion.


HOST: Alright.


SHORTEN: We can do our best, I get that there’s some people in some religions who don’t support marriage equality –


HOST: Yeah.


SHORTEN: See it as wrong and that’s their business –


HOST: That’s right.


SHORTEN: What we’ll also do is we’re going to make sure that ministers of religion are not obligated to solemnise any marriage so how a religion practices their business we’re not trying to tell them to do.




SHORTEN: I just don’t think other people should tell people who want marriage equality how to live their lives either.


HOST: Bill it’s so lovely to talk to you, thank you very much for making the time even though you really dragged it out my friend.


SHORTEN: I’m really sorry about that.


HOST: It’s okay.


SHORTEN: I’ll make it up to you.


HOST: We won’t let it happen again.


SHORTEN: Okay, I’m two minutes into your debt, I’ll make sure I do something.


HOST: Thanks!