IQ2 marriage equality debate

On Tuesday night, I'll join a panel of speakers at the latest Intelligence Squared (IQ²) Debate to discuss same sex marriage.

IQ² debates are one of the only institutions, aside from Parliament, that provide a forum for debate on critical issues of the day.

I'll be speaking against the topic of the debate - that 'same sex marriage should not be legalised' - with Mark Textor, founding partner of campaign strategy group Crosby|Textor.

I believe the issue of same sex marriage and whether it should be legalised (and I passionately believe it should be) comes down to a matter of human rights.

In my own life I've been lucky enough to count on the constant love and support of my husband Peter and our wedding day is a very special memory. People in same sex relationships can be just as committed and supportive of one another and they deserve to have their unions, and their families, recognised by law.

I have been a long time supporter and campaigner for Sydney's GLBT community. At a time when being openly gay was a real risk, I was the first Member of the Legislative Assembly to march in Mardi Gras.

My Homosexual Anti-Vilification Bill made it illegal to incite hatred of lesbians and gay men and my Significant Personal Relationships Bill became a model for Tasmanian and Victorian legislation, and later for the City of Sydney's Relationships Register recognising same sex relationships.

Last year, my Adoption Amendment (Same Sex Couples) Bill passed enabling same-sex couples to adopt as a couple.

Not all gay and lesbian couples will want to marry, just as many heterosexual couples choose not to marry, but same sex couples should be able to make that decision themselves.

Several recent opinion polls show increased support for same sex marriage in the wider community. This support is also shown by the responses to the two inquiries into the Marriage Equality Bills before parliament.

I encourage you to attend the IQ² debate on Tuesday night at City Recital Hall Angel Place from 6:45pm.

All IQ² debates are later broadcast on ABC radio, television and are available as recordings and podcasts online.


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