Mr Turnbull has given us the worst possible process

 

Read my full speech below.

Ms BUTLER (Griffith) (15:53):  This week I met an adorable grade 1 kid and he drew me a maze. He asked me if I was any good at mazes. I said, 'Not really, but I'll give it a go.' We were drawing mazes together and talking. He made me this beautiful little picture. I'm never going to forget it. It just had the word 'love' on it and it was coloured in. On the back of it, he wrote his name. He has two dads. He is a member of a rainbow family. His dads are worried about what's going to happen to him and his brother through this survey process.

There are so many other parents around this country who are worried about what's going to happen to their primary school-age kids during this survey process. I know they are feeling pretty bad right now. I know that families across this country, siblings, friends, parents and LGBTI people are feeling like curling up in a ball and hiding under the table. I understand why.

I understand why they are thinking they might not participate in this insulting survey, where millions of Australians are being asked to fill out a survey about whether other people's relationships have the same status as theirs and about whether other people should have the same human rights as they do. That is insulting and it's offensive.

I wanted to say this: the people who gain to stand from us not participating in the survey—by 'us' I mean everybody who wants to see marriage equality—are people who oppose marriage equality. It is worth pointing out just who the biggest winner is from this household survey. It is a household survey; that's the way that the Commonwealth Statistician has described it—a household survey. He might as well describe it that way because they are going to post out survey papers to a household, and who knows who will fill them out at that house and send them back? There does not seem to be any checking on that. Who knows whether a husband in an abusive relationship might take his wife's ballot paper and fill it out for her? We do not know because this kind of national survey is uncharted territory.

But let's talk about who the biggest, most successful winner out of this survey is. It is certainly not LGBTI people or their families or their friends. It is the member for Warringah. The Prime Minister has handed his chief rival the platform he has been waiting for. This is the part that Tony Abbott, the member for Warringah, was born to play. From now until November, the former Prime Minister, the member for Warringah, will be travelling the country making the 'no' case while the Prime Minister is hiding at Point Piper because he is too busy to campaign for something he supposedly believes in. There won't be a single Liberal Party branch meeting in this country that the member for Warringah will not go to. He has even got former Prime Minister John Howard riding shotgun with him. Once again, the Prime Minister and the former Prime Minister are squaring off over a national vote. We all know how helpful the current Prime Minister was to his cause last time. We all know about that. I remember 1999 very well.

This all shows how pathetic this current Prime Minister is. He has given Australians and this nation the worst possible process, but he won't even go out and campaign for what he says he believes in. How are we supposed to trust him? How are people who live in this country supposed to believe in a Prime Minister who professes to care about marriage equality and believe in marriage equality, but who won't even get up and campaign for it? Why is he abandoning LGBTI people, their families, their friends and everyone in this country who actually believes in human rights and in not having an opinion poll about whether people should have them? Why is he abandoning us? This is his process. The Prime Minister has been in a leadership position and has led a party room that has decided to have a national household survey, run by the ABS of #censusfail fame, on whether you have the same human rights as the person living in the house next door. This is happening on this Prime Minister's watch and he is responsible for it.

Mr Deputy Speaker, think back to those children we met from rainbow families throughout this process and throughout the advocacy that we've all been engaged in for a free vote in the parliament and a change to the law to allow for marriage equality. Think back to those kids and what's going to happen—the lack of respectful debate we have already seen, including from Bronwyn Bishop herself last night on television, with the talk about bestiality and disability. How on earth are we expected to stand up and look them in the eye when our own Prime Minister won't do it for them? (Time expired)

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