Love is on the homestretch.
After 20 bills (7 of them, embarrassingly, in my name) the hateful law discriminating against same-sex couples is well on the way to being reversed. This time next week, the entrenched inequality that John Howard introduced in 2004 will end.
In all my time in the politics, I’ve never felt more proud and elated as I did yesterday when Liberal Senator Dean Smith’s marriage equality bill passed the Senate. As I stood in the chamber sharing the excitement with my Greens colleagues and Senators across the political spectrum, I thought: this is what it’s all about.
It’s not often we get to pass legislation that will have an immediate, lasting and monumental effect on millions of Australians. On November 15, when the results of the postal plebiscite were announced, Australia had mended its broken heart. Yesterday, the Senate finally did its job to give loving same-sex couples the rights they deserve.
The campaign for equality has been hard-fought by passionate members of the community and driven organisations and shows to us that no matter how gloomy the world might seem, there is still such a thing as people power. I want to say thank you to all of you who door knocked, handed out leaflets, had conversations and shared the message of equality on social media.
I also want to say thank you to former Australian Greens leader Bob Brown, who has lead the way in the fight for equality. Even though he’s no longer with us in the parliament, he continues to fight for a more just society.
We’ve got a lot to celebrate in the name of equality and working together to truly make a difference. We’re one final step away from legislating love, and hearing those wedding bells ring.