MIX FM 94.5 PERTH
CLAIRSY, SHANE & KYMBA
WEDNESDAY, 27 MAY 2015
SUBJECT/S: National Security; Marriage Equality.
HOST: The Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten is set to introduce his own Private Member’s Bill on Monday. Mr Shorten, good morning.
BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Good morning guys.
HOST: Bill, I don’t know whether this typifies our priorities in Perth, but Mick Malthouse is page one, and you are page three with this.
SHORTEN: Mick Malthouse is big news, I get that.
HOST: Yeah right, no this is huge news, the headline is ‘pulled the trigger’, obviously that’s a bit over the top, but are you proud of your decision making and how quick you’ve made it?
SHORTEN: I’ve believed in marriage equality for a long time, and I voted for it when there was a debate in Parliament back in 2012. I spoke to the Australian Christian Lobby directly at their conference, I said that you can be a Christian and still support marriage equality, but the news in Ireland over the weekend, I think is new momentum. I mean a lot of Australians feel an affinity with Ireland, some of us have got convict ancestors from Ireland and we’re all interested in what they do, and if such an overtly and famously religious country can say that they believe in marriage equality, then really, why don’t we grab the time, grab the moment? Sometimes timing of events pick us and that’s why I thought this is a good opportunity to again push in the Parliament for marriage equality, because, you know, I’ve got friends who are gay, why can’t they get married if they want to get married? I think – why do they have to go overseas, it’s a fiction?
HOST: Well religion should have no place in politics anyway, but it seems to be that religion is the reason that Tony Abbott is, you know, going against this, in fact that’s his main argument.
SHORTEN: Well if people want to be guided by religion in politics, I actually – I respect that – but what I can’t understand is why Tony Abbott won’t give his whole Liberal party a free vote. I’ve got a few people in my Labor Party who have got very religious faith-based views, which means they think they can’t support marriage equality. I don’t expect everyone just to agree with one point of view, but what I do believe is that if we’re going to have marriage equality, it’s now time for the Liberal Party to provide a free vote to their Members of Parliament, just like we do. It shouldn’t be a party political issue, for me it’s all about, if people love each other and they want to get married, because they’re of the same sex, doesn’t mean they should be treated as second class.
HOST: Bill you mentioned your fellow Labor Party members there and some may oppose this, is it something you can convince people it’s time for this to happen, or are you just quite happy to –
SHORTEN: Absolutely, you hesitate to make generational analogies but I think, in particular the young people, don’t understand what the fuss is about. They probably think, it’s probably time. But listen, there are people from all walks of life, who form different conclusions. I think it is possible to make the case for marriage equality, I’m optimistic that we can, but I’m realistic too. The reason why I’ve raised it is, I’ve always believed it in the Parliament, and with the Irish referendum, it seems there’s a greater renewed interest. I think the big obstacle that remains now is getting the Liberal Party to have a free vote on it.
HOST: You know it was awesome on the momentum from Ireland like you say, the sudden announcement of your Bill, did you hear in the corridors of Canberra, Tony Abbott going ‘what?! what?!’
SHORTEN: No listen, obviously I’ve got my concerns with this Budget and a whole lot of other things that he’s doing, but on this I think it’s time to persuade the Liberal Party to have a free vote, I should probably stay away from paying out on him, but I think people in politics want a free vote, they like the idea of that, and I think on marriage equality there’s people who think now is the time. I just think about people I know in committed relationships and they shouldn’t be barred from being able to marry each other and have to go overseas, it’s a fiction. Life’s too short for sort of, legalistic fairy tales and fictions. We just – people I think just want issues to be dealt with and this is an issue which time is right to deal with.
HOST: Well Bill Shorten, there’s a busy weekend ahead for you, good luck on Monday, and you got on our show and Mick Malthouse was too busy to speak to us.
HOST: Yes he was.
SHORTEN: Listen he did a good job at West Coast and he did a good job at Collingwood so you know. They say that politics and sport (inaudible), I think Mick Malthouse has had a pretty rough time so I think he’s contributed a lot to footy, don’t you?
HOST: Yep, you’re not wrong and over 700 games. Bill all the best.
SHORTEN: Thanks everyone, see you.
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