Wong v Bernardi.
Senator Wong was Team Same Sex Marriage, of course.
And Senator Bernardi was on the side of ‘marriage is a union between a man and a woman etc etc etc.’ (You might remember Bernardi as the staunchly conservative Catholic who in 2012 provoked outrage by linking same-sex legalisation to the acceptance of bestiality.)
Senator Wong – who lives with her long-term partner Sophie Allouche and their two daughters – kicked off the debate.
“Australians pride ourselves on our egalitarianism, a fair go to all. Quality is central to our spirit, a part of our national identity,” she said.
“Misogyny and discrimination haven’t been eliminated, but they are no longer entrenched in law,” she said, referring to women earning the right to vote.
“The institution of marriage has evolved too…
Senator Wong, herself a practicing Christian — and one of the 53 percent of Christians who support marriage equality in Australia, according to Galaxy Polling — reminded the audience that what she is fighting for “
Senator Wong then powerfully concluded that: “
If Australia legalises marriage equality, she said, “the sun will rise. Heterosexual marriages won’t crumble… but we will have made a profound change.”
South Australian Senator Bernardi began his opening argument by framing the issue as “the homosexual marriage debate” and a “textbook propaganda debate” by human rights groups.
“many right-wing and religious commentators were being “silenced” from sharing their views.
Senator Bernardi proceeded to launch into a tirade about the so-called danger to the family unit posed by same-sex parents.
“The ideal is still a child being raised by their married mother and father,” he said.