Bill's Transcripts

Radio SEA FM - Marriage equality





SUBJECT/S: Marriage equality


Bill Shorten speaking in Parliament: When Australians embrace marriage equality, let’s make it happen together. It is time.

HOST:  You know what, no truer words have been spoken by a politician before.


HOST:  Yeah look Bill Shorten joins us this morning, good morning to you Bill first off.


BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Good morning, lovely to chat to you.

How do you think yesterday went Bill, and for the LNP not even turning up, what the hell was that all about?    

Just hopeless, they were just hopeless, yesterday was about marriage equality. I believe that – especially following the Irish referendum, the momentum’s there in 2015 for Australians to amend the Marriage Act to allow marriage equality. I’ve supported marriage equality for years. But I felt like many Australians a couple of Sunday morning’s ago when we woke up and heard that the Irish had voted for it, and I’ve got a lot of Irish ancestors, it’s just a famously religious country, and if the Irish can vote two to one in favour of marriage equality, how on earth’s Australia falling behind?


HOST: Yeah, look I don’t understand this and this might just be a layman’s way looking at things Bill, but in every sense of the word, if two men or two women are living together for six months they’re classified as de facto relationship like everyone else, but they’re still not allowed to marry. Now I can’t understand why my best mate who’s sitting right opposite me, can’t get married.

Well there’s no good reason. We want there to be a free vote in Parliament, there’s a couple of Labor MPs who don’t support marriage equality but 95 per cent of us do, but we want a free vote because I there’s enough Liberal MPs on the other side who’d give us a majority in the Parliament. Tony Abbott won’t allow a free vote, he says that the Parliament should own the measure, the problem with that is the Parliament can’t own the measure. I mean what he’s having a crack at is if Labor’s raising it he says that’s not good, you should wait for the Liberal’s to raise it too, but he’s the leader of the Liberal Party, he doesn’t believe in marriage equality.


HOST:  I just don’t, I don’t – do you think this is going to affect him in the next election? Like there’s a lot of same sex couples that I know, and even not even same sex couples that say you not turning up to Parliament yesterday just gave me a clear example as to what kind of person you are.

I thought it was disrespectful to the issue. In terms of votes, there’s some people who really hate the idea of marriage equality and there’s others who really like it. It’s not about the votes, it’s just – we should clear this matter up well before an election, but Tony Abbott mightn’t agree with marriage equality, but it’s an important issue to Australians and instead he you know, talking about other matters on the Budget, and he says oh that’s my priority but that’s a sort of cute way of not dealing with the issue. Australians are actually capable of holding more than one thought in their head at a time, and I think he’s trying to dumb down the politics when he talks, says he’s all about the Budget – well so are we, and what he’s trying to imply by that is that we’re just talking about marriage equality and he’s on the serious issues, well I think the issue is there’s more than one serious issue in this country. The Budget’s very important, national security’s very important, but the implication somehow that because I’m talking about marriage equality I’m not on the things that matter, is a bit patronising to a whole lot of people who think it is an important issue.


HOST: Okay so what happens now?

 Well we’ll just keep pressing. I can’t see how the Liberals can resist it. You know, they said oh well it shouldn’t be a Labor proposition, well we’ve said for the last 14 months it can have a Liberal cosponsor the proposed change, you know that’s not a deal killer. Then they said oh they want a proposed amendment or a change to the law which is suitable, it’s not that hard. The bill I proposed is only a couple of pages, it just says change the definition of marriage, it says that if a church or a mosque or a temple doesn’t want to have - their priest  doesn’t want to consecrate a same sex marriage they don’t have to. It’s pretty basic, this is not rocket science, the issues have been well canvassed, when 37 states in the United States, New Zealand, Canada, the UK, Uruguay, Brazil, you know, half the countries that turn up to the Olympics have worked this out and somehow our guys – they should just allow a free vote in the Liberal Party and let’s just be done with it.


HOST: Well look, Bill Shorten thank you very much for entering that into Parliament yesterday and is the champion of gay and lesbian community being as miserable as the rest of them.


HOST: Well coming from a gay man, I think you’re waving the flag for us Bill, and it needs to be brought to our attention as you say Dave.


SHORTEN: I promise you we won’t give up and if some in the conservative side of politics just hope the issue will go away, I won’t let it.


HOST: Alright Bill Shorten joining us this morning, thanks for your time there Bill.


SHORTEN: Thank, lovely to chat to you, bye.