Australian Attorney General Gives Impassioned Speech On Marriage: You Are Normal, You Have A Need To Love

“I want to reflect for a moment on the message this will send, in particular, to young gay people. To the boy or girl who senses a difference from their friends, which they find difficult to understand and impossible to deal with. How many hundreds of thousands of young Australians have known that fear? How many have lived with it, silently and alone? How many have failed to come to terms with it, and been overborne by it?

“By passing this bill, we are saying to these vulnerable young people ‘there is nothing wrong with you’. You are not unusual, you are not abnormal, you are just you. There is nothing to be embarrassed about, there is nothing to be ashamed of, there is nothing to hide: you are a normal person, and like every other normal person, you have a need to love. How you love is how God made you. Whom you love is for you to decide, and others to respect.

“Australia may have been slow to reach this day. But when that day did come, it came triumphantly, it came joyously, and most importantly it came from the Australian people themselves.” – Australian Attorney General George Brandis, speaking before the marriage bill passed its second reading without objection.

  • vorpal

    Someone who finally gets it and recognizes how agonizing it is to be a gay teen who has to spend their day living a carefully crafted, exhausting lie and the sheer terror that surrounds that.

    Thankfully there are people like this, instead of just the loving Christians who have no compassion and reduce us to a single sex act.

  • fuow

    Gee, imagine if we liberals had bothered to vote – we could have had an AG like the Aussies have, instead of an evil elf.

    • Michael R

      Why does it seem like he’s lying here ?

      • BearEyes

        He’s a liar who must never be trusted.

        • Todd20036

          So, you’re saying he really does use butter in his cookies?

    • j.martindale

      read what Pauline wrote.

      • fuow

        I did. I may well be wrong, but I think this was an attempt to counter the mother-fucking christers in advance.

  • JT

    Christofascists are not normal. They have denied human nature from their beginnings. The denial becomes so great that they turn themselves into twisted monsters of inhumanity.

    • Muslim, and Jewish religions also twist people away from being their authentic selves. Make food rules, even clothing rules, worship rules, but for heavens sake don’t make people hate and hide who they truly actually are.

      • Biki, your thinking about Judaism should be limited to the minority Orthodox branch of Judaism– which opposes same-sex marriage. The Reform, Conservative (which is middle of the road), and Reconstructionist branches, which account for over 80% of American Jews supports it and allows for it in their synagogues, and has for a while.. Among American religious groups in a 2013 Pew Research Center survey, Jews (including Orthodox) were the most in favor of allowing same-sex marriages, at 83%. This exceeds the number for any other group. Reform Judaism, the largest denomination in the USA, with far more adherents than Orthodox, has allowed — and encouraged — same-sex weddings since 1997, one of the first and largest Mainstream American religious groups to do so. – Also see this — the ADL postion on gay rights

        • Oh yes, I knew this! It’s the Orthodox that is causing all the grief, and not just to same sex couples, but to females who are on the whole treated terribly.

          • JT

            The fundies of all denominations are the culprits.

          • Absolutely!!!!!

          • Modern Orthodox not so bad — probably the same as mainstream Catholics. They wear modern clothes, and are observant, but are not crazy. They still will not ordain females as rabbis, just as Catholics will not ordain females as priests. The ultra Orthodox — the ones who wear the the 18th century garb yes I agree. They are in a different world. Some are like Westboro Baptist Church — .

  • j.martindale

    What a disappointing AG! On the one hand, he worries for the mental health of gay kids. On the other, he wants to legislate discrimination that will make them second class citizens. He is like the American Rethugs.

    • JoeMyGod

      I could be wrong, but it seems like he introduced the amendment knowing it would fail so that the right wingers couldn’t scream it was never addressed.

      • Gustav2

        And made sure this bill was just about secular celebrants.

      • j.martindale

        Aren’t the conservatives in power? I thought they were the ones pushing the religious exemption. I could be wrong.

        • Gustav2

          They also wanted a religious exemption for what we would call justices of the peace, etc. (government employees) and it was presented and failed. The conservatives wanted a bill with blanket exemption that would have included government employees and religious entities together.

          Churches will still be able to do as they please.

        • bobbleobble

          In the lower house they have a one seat majority but in the Senate they can be outvoted by Labor, Greens, Nick Xenophon’s team and others plus several of the LNP senators have voted against amendments so far too.

          When it gets to the lower house I think it could get tricky. The Greens and Nick Xenophon only have one representative each which isn’t enough to help Labor stop egregious amendments being added so there will need to be a significant number of the LNP voting against amendments. Hopefully they exist in big enough numbers but we’ll see.

          • Gustav2

            Hopefully the overwhelming NO vote will draw a line in the sand regarding religious exemptions for secular celebrants.

          • bobbleobble

            Do you mean YES vote?

            Labor have said they will vote down all amendments because they say they’ve compromised enough with the Smith bill. I think there are enough LNP members, including hopefully Turnbull and a few others in the upper echelons, to keep out amendments too when they get to the lower house.

          • Gustav2

            Correct, I meant that as HELL NO to secular celebrants having religious objections.

          • bobbleobble

            Oh right I see!

            I read somewhere that several members of the lower house have given up on the idea of putting forward amendments to the bill once it passes the Senate because they know that they won’t be accepted should a revised bill go back that way.

  • Remember in the US when we had an Attorney General who might have said something like this?

    • margaretpoa

      But never did….

      • True. Or maybe when we might have had one (had 2016 gone the way it should have).

    • safari

      I remember when one covered up the breasts of Justice because boobies are sin.

      • Well, yeah. Impressionable kids might have seen it, and then they’d have known that boobs exist!

    • JCF

      We did, we did!!!!

      [weeps for what we have lost }-(… ]

  • BobSF_94117

    Australia’s Liberals (what they call their conservative party in UpsideDownia) are trying to pretend that they’re like the UK Tories, a party which, after decades of anti-gay positions, actually evolved under a strong pro-gay leader and ushered in SSM. In truth, Aussie Libs are much more like America’s GOP, always, always standing in the way of progress on gay issues.

  • netxtown

    I will look forward to the day that the cockroach called religion is annihilated – and my right to live and love whomever i choose are not up for discussion or vote.

    • fuow

      Unfortunately, religion, like cockroaches, survives everything – even nuclear war.
      The best we can hope for, is for rational people to become engaged in politics to protect our human rights.

      • Why can’t people be happy with being spiritual instead of being religious?

        • fuow

          Good question. Wish I knew.

        • vorpal

          If you’re spiritual, you’re actually exploring and communing with reality in a personal and fulfilling way.

          If you’re religious, you’re part of a group of people perpetuating an ancient cult who can not only justify being absolutely horrible by picking and choosing what you want from old books and approving of each other’s actions, but you also prop each other up so you can look down and sneer at everyone else with self-righteousness.

          Being spiritual means turning your brain on.
          Being religious means shutting your brain off.

          • JWC

            Applaud applaud mt special friend

          • JCF

            Sigh. Religio simply means “to bind together.” We are spiritual (spiritually-seeking) people in the Episcopal Church—but we are also bound together. United in love, united in service…united in open, questing minds. I know I’m (probably) never going to convince you…but your enemy is BAD (*oppressive*) religion, not religion per se!

            Bog standard conclusion:


          • vorpal

            I actually don’t completely disagree with you, JCF, and I don’t think that all religion is inherently evil, empty, or bad. You always seem like a genuinely good person and I appreciate that.

            I can understand binding together to celebrate spirituality. I’m very introverted, though, so being spiritual for me comes best when I am alone. Indeed, the denomination of Christianity I was raised in was extremely liberal and full of really wonderful, accepting people (the United Church of Canada voted in 1988 to accept openly gay people and couples into the congregation and even to serve as ministers), but the sense of community – something that many derive a great deal of pleasure and comfort from – was actually a deterrent for me.

            I know I can go off on religion and Christianity in particular, but this is sort of my venting space where I blow off steam. I am fortunate enough to know some really good Christians in real life who live by example and are always there to help others and give of themselves. There is a family here in Chile that is fairly conservative Christian and they are amongst our best friends, and we have loads of interesting conversations with them.

            I’m sorry that I have been insensitive.

          • JCF

            No worries, vorpal! I’m really very moved by your response. I, too, am exceedingly introverted. I often have to close my eyes during sermons: I respect the form of a preacher giving their own personal interpretation of Scripture (in Anglican tradition, “Scripture, Tradition and Reason”), but sometimes it’s Just Too Much (not disagreement, per se—sometimes it is, and there’s nothing wrong w/ that—but just treading too closely to my own sacred sense of the mysterium tremendum et fascinans). Indeed, one of the principal strengths I find in my Episcopal tradition (in which I was raised, TBTG), is that its formalism (the Book of Common Prayer) PREVENTS too much trespassing on my personal sense of the holy! (Whew.)

            Good talkin’ to ya—pax et bonum, vorpal! [I pray you peace for the recent loss of your friend. Hugs.]

          • vorpal

            Thanks, sweet JCF, for sharing your perspective with me.

            How do you find the social aspects of it? Do you often linger and socialize?

            Also, as a curiosity, have you considered other faiths at any point, i you don’t mind me asking?

          • JCF

            “Do you often linger and socialize?”

            Heh-heh, you got me: I really don’t. I’m fine in a crowd (FWIW, public speaking is usually ZERO problem for me), but once things break down into smalltalk, I’m usually outta there (that’s not just true for church, but any social situation).

            I’m better in the context of the choir: I’ve gotten to know people through the years (esp that annual retreat in Sonoma County I look forward to every fall), so I can better socialize. But it still doesn’t come terribly naturally to me (for the second time since I’ve joined the choir, there’s a woman who’s caught my eye—so I’m trying to {subtly, subtly: don’t know if she’s into females, at all} put myself out there).

            Other faiths: my academic focus—really, going all the way back to high school, if you can believe it—has been my interest in “other faiths”. My graduate work was in ecumenical and interreligious dialogue. That said, no other religion has really tempted me to join (in the sense of make a formal, social break w/ the Episcopal Church, and convert). I’m much more about assimilating other religious traditions into my own practice! [Buddhist breathing techniques, for example, which have really helped Save My Fucking Sanity this past gawdawful year]. There’s really nothing in Episcopal tradition which is against Finding Truth wherever it is [Though about 10 years ago, an Episcopal priest got in trouble, when she publicly declared “I’m a Muslim, too”. Incorporating other practices Yes (may be trickier for ordained clergy). Claiming to be two rather mutually-exclusive religious *identities*, problem! (To be a clergyperson who teaches Jesus simultaneously Is (per Christianity) /Is Not (per Islam) divine? Umm…)]

            Well, HTH w/ your questions. Catch ya later, vorpal! [Pet your kitty (or is it kitties?) for me…]

          • As I’m sure you know, Shinto has sacred forests, trees and mountains, and even large rocks (boulders?) While in Japan last year, we went to Fushimi Inari-taisha, mainly so I could see the 10,000 tori gates. As I got to the main gate, the hair on the back of my neck stood up, and stayed that way the entire time we were there. There IS a presence there, and it’s strong. Hubby was sweet enough to go for a repeat visit. I wanted to see if the experience was identical, it was. I feel so strongly about this place, I made hubby promise to scatter at least a portion of my ashes there when I die.

          • You are 1000% correct about the difference between being spiritual and religious!!!

    • drbrentzenobia

      That will happen around the same time that the human race learns to live without fear or anger.

  • Tawreos

    I wish I could have heard anyone saying this 30 years ago when I was figuring out that I was gay. I hope the kids today that are just figuring things out are saved a lot of the pain and suffering that I and so many others grew up with.

    • Snarkaholic

      It would be a welcome counterpoint to hearing our schoolmates saying ‘faggot’ and ‘dyke’ all day long.

      • margaretpoa

        Or to our parents telling us to get out so as not to be embarrassed in front of the neighbors.

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    • MarkOH

      But, at least it is being said now. Look at what the sacrifices, of all those who come before this time, have accomplished.

      Whom you love is for you to decide, and others to respect

  • BeaverTales

    You Are Normal Human, You Have A Need To Love


  • Pluto Animus

    What a lovely, stirring statement.

    • And then ruins the entire wonderful speech by trying to include religious exemptions for weddings so the xtians don’t get their wee fee-fees all hurted.

  • Cackalaquiano

    Wow. Now imagine what our Attorney General would say.

  • Bluto
  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    Well said and long overdue. Now, onto the process of making it legal, STAT!

  • JWC

    Finally and this bills detractors and their dracobian belief can finally settle down and get back to their sordid little lives

  • Al Prazolam

    Can you imagine our own attorney general, Jeff Sessions, making a speech like that? Brandis is the antithesis of Sessions. Aussies are fortunate to have an AG like him.

    • leastyebejudged

      Yes I can, as he tries the exact same shitty thing this asshole tried.

      You’re gullible.