Federal member for Mallee Andrew Broad in his speech on the same sex marriage act has confirmed he will vote “yes” in accordance with an overall public vote in his electorate but also that he will support amendments being proposed by other Coalition members.
But while on his feet, Mr Broad expressed disappointment that the Government had not fostered its own bill for voting upon rather than a private members bill.
He also expressed clearly his own views on same sex marriage and the importance of the family unit and religious freedoms expressed by the “no’ voters in his electorate.,
Mr Broad said people are right to hold strong convictions, and representing truthfully the values of 100,000 people in the electorate of Mallee is difficult, as is interacting those values with his values, beliefs and considered judgement.
“My considered judgement is that the government of Australia should at most times stay out of the homes of Australians except in the interest of protecting from violence or offence against individual family members such as abuse of children or violence against a partner.”
“But, apart from that, what happens in your home is your business - this is a fundamental freedom.”
“It is for this reason that I held to the position that changing the Marriage Act is a society decision, not a government one.”
Mr Broad said Australians elect representatives to parliament to manage the building of infrastructure, defence of our people, creation of an economy that rewards endeavour but cares for the downtrodden and poor, investment in our health system, looking after of our senior Australians and creation of opportunities for our children through education
“Throughout this debate (leading up to today) I held steadfast to my personal belief that marriage is and should be between a man and a woman.”
He said as the people of the Wimmera Mallee have given direction, I shall fulfil my duty and vote 'yes' to changes to the Marriage Act.
“It is not a position I hold personally, and I shall explain the reasons for my belief here today”
“I ask for a level of respect for my position because it is held by many millions of Australians who deserve the right to have someone voice their view in this discussion while it takes place on the floor of the parliament.”
“Love between a man and a woman, a woman and a woman, and a man and a man can be as equally real in feelings and emotions.”
“Who you love is a decision for you, but my belief is in upholding the ideal of the family in a world full of people who make mistakes and in a world full of less than perfect people, of whom I am one.”
Mr Broad said there is still value in retaining marriage as the covenant for a bond between a man and a woman to raise children.
“Love is an essential ingredient to the raising of children and, as a foster parent, I am more aware than most that a traditional relationship does not of itself guarantee the loving raising of children.”
“The breakdown of the family unit has caused more children to be exposed to hardship than any other factor in Australian society”
Mr Broad said making the lives of families better improves our society.
“I do not cast judgement upon same-sex couples who are currently raising children.”
“I'm sure your love is deep and enduring, and I wish nothing but the best for you.”
“But I believe there is an essential truth that cannot be replicated without the influence of both a man and a woman in a child's development.
Mr Broad believes a young girl between the ages of zero and five craves the nurturing abilities and closeness of her mother, and between the ages of five and 10 the positive influence of her dad is essential: to tell her she is beautiful and that she is worthwhile and precious in his eyes.
“Fathers, I say to you: the best way to prevent your daughter getting stuck in an abusive relationship later in life is to instil a sense of self-worth in her early.”
“Between the ages of 10 and 14, as her body changes, she needs her mum. Frankly, that's a journey best walked with a woman.”
“Between the ages of 14 and 18, the role of a dad is to take her on a date, open the door for her, teach her how a guy should treat her—with respect—and be a guard from guys who might come knocking, while ensuring that their intentions are pure.”
“For too many, this has not been either their upbringing or their lived experience in their own relationships. I want to pay tribute to the many single parents who have raised amazing and well-balanced children under different circumstances to this; however, nothing is equal to, nothing replicates and nothing replaces the ideal of marriage between a man and a woman and the loving raising of children.”
Mr Broad said ultimately, I believe changing the definition of marriage from a union of a man and a woman to the union of two people both weakens this ideal and weakens our society.
“I will personally find fulfilling my duty to the people of Mallee by voting yes difficult, as I believe this change will rob the future children of Australia for generations to come, but I will fulfil my duty.”
“I have publicly expressed my disappointment at the way this particular piece of legislation has been brought into the parliament”
Mr Broad said that he believed the coalition would have been better to draft legislation at the declaration of the result of the postal plebiscite rather than give free passage to a private member's bill.
He said it would have been legislation that gives effect to the Australian people's wishes to change the Marriage Act from a man and a woman to two persons, as well as hold true to the values that the coalition stands for, values such as: freedom to hold and express a view, freedom for parents to have the final oversight as to how their children are educated, freedom of religious belief and expression and discussion of religion, freedom to administer the assets that a religious organisation has, and the freedom to marry who you love.
“The role of government is to unite Australians, and enhancing the rights of some should always be embraced while giving assurance to the rights of others,” Mr Broad said.
“The coalition should have been able to do this more effectively than they have, and I will be supporting amendments to this bill.”