ŠĒ• Sydney Morning Herald
The NSW Upper house is backing same-sex marriage. It is astonishing some of the arguments against…with no foundation in fact or reason:
The NSW upper house has passed a motion calling on the federal government to allow gay marriage, despite a Liberal MP saying that change could lead to polygamy.
Greens MP Cate Faehrmann’s private members’ motion passed 22 votes to 16 in the Legislative Council, with both major parties allowing a conscience vote.
NSW has now joined Tasmania and the ACT in having a parliamentary chamber call for the 1961 commonwealth Marriage Act to be amended to allow same-sex marriage.
Shortly before the vote, Ms Faehrmann likened a ban on gay marriage to the 1950s laws prohibiting Aboriginal men from marrying white women.
During the debate, Labor MP Helen Westwood described being in a lesbian relationship and having eight grandchildren.
”There’s just no evidence that my children or my grandchildren have been disadvantaged by being raised in a same-sex relationship,” she told the chamber.
But Labor’s leader in the upper house, Luke Foley, who hails from the party’s left faction, said that as a practising Catholic he believed civil unions were more appropriate for gay couples than marriage.
”I do believe that homosexual relationships are different to a married relationship,” he said, adding a ”procreative relationship open to the possibility of children” was an ”essential feature of marriage”.
Liberal member Matthew Mason-Cox argued same-sex marriage could lead to polygamy.
”Indeed, if one was to take the notion of equality of marriage to its logical conclusion, then there would be no reason to stand in the way of polygamist marriages, or other variants,” he said.
”This is the so-called slippery slope in this debate which has manifested itself overseas in some jurisdictions where same-sex marriage has been allowed.”