THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY
HIT 92.9 PERTH WITH HEIDI, WILL, AND WOODY
WEDNESDAY, 27 MAY 2015
SUBJECT: Marriage equality
WILL, PRESENTER: Tanya Plibersek is the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, and she is one of the architects of this bill. Tanya, thanks for joining us mate.
TANYA PLIBERSEK, DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Yeah, no worries at all.
WILL: I thought you just might like to shed some light on this wonderful new bill that the Labor Party is intending to present to the House of Representatives.
PLIBERSEK: Oh, absolutely. On Monday, Bill Shorten is going to introduce a bill into the Parliament - he’s moving it, I’m seconding the bill - and it’s a bill for marriage equality.
PLIBERSEK: We think that given that most of the countries around the world that are like Australia, countries like Ireland, the UK, New Zealand, many US states, many European countries have already taken this step towards marriage equality it’s about time we did too.
WILL: How’s it been received so far, Tanya?
PLIBERSEK: Look, very good. I mean, there are a lot of people on both sides of Parliament who are supporters of marriage equality and have been for some time, and there’s quite a few who’ve actually changed their view in recent years and actually might’ve voted against marriage equality in the past-
HEIDI, PRESENTER: Yeah.
PLIBERSEK: But, you know, their own families are talking to them, their own communities are talking to them about how this is a change whose time has come.
HEIDI: So, do you reckon, Tanya, that there’s gonna be - we’ll see a referendum or do you reckon that we’ll see this by the end of the year or-
PLIBERSEK: Yeah, look, I think we don’t need a referendum in Australia. The reason they had one in Ireland is because marriage is defined in their constitution and in Australia marriage is defined in a law that the Parliament has passed, so what we have to do is get the Parliament to amend that law and it’s a very simple process. All we want, at the moment the Marriage Act says that marriage is between a man and a woman, we just have to take out “between a man and a woman” and just say it’s between two adults and you know, the change is done. We’re also being very specific in the proposal to say that we don’t expect churches to marry same-sex couples but you know you can go to a registry office, you can go and see a marriage celebrant, a lot of weddings these days are not religious weddings. They’re an opportunity for a couple’s friends and family and their community to celebrate the fact that they’ve met and chosen their life partner.
WOODY, PRESENTER: Tanya, do you think that this is a little bit futile? Like, do we think that it’s a nice thing for the Opposition to do and I’m sure that it’s gonna, you know, spark a little bit of passion in voters and supporters across Australia but maybe that the Liberal Party’s, particularly given the majority they’ve got at the moment, this isn’t really going to go anywhere? I mean, we all know that Tony’s in charge and he’s very conservative and I can’t see him okaying it.
PLIBERSEK: Well, all we really need is for Tony Abbott to say that his MPs can have a free vote on the issue because there’s a lot of Liberal MPs who -
WOODY: You think they would cross the floor for it?
PLIBERSEK: Yeah I think that if the Prime Minister just gives the signal that he’s okay with people voting according to their conscience in his party, I think this has a very good chance of passing.
WOODY: I’d cross the floor for you Tanya, I’d dance on that floor.
PLIBERSEK: [Laughs] Well, that’s very sweet, I’d cross the floor for you too.
WOODY: Oh, stop it, Tanya.
HEIDI: Thanks for joining us this morning, Tanya.
PLIBERSEK: Thanks for having me.