Ms Patten (Northern Metropolitan) — I rise today to support marriage equality. While I recognise that this is a federal matter I want to put on the record that in 2015 we are still squabbling about whether two consenting adults can legally or formally recognise their union in Australia. It has been 14 years since the Netherlands adopted marriage equality, and subsequently we have seen New Zealand, Ireland and the United States adopt the concept. It is really time for Australia to do it.
The case for marriage equality is robust, especially in Victoria. Most of the local councils in my electorate of Northern Metropolitan Region endorse and recognise marriage unions in various forms. Rallies supporting marriage equality are the most highly attended in Victoria. I am constantly being asked by constituents what the government is doing about marriage equality. Even late last night I ran into someone at the supermarket who asked me, ‘When are we going to get marriage equality in Australia?’. I understand this matter can only be formalised by our federal colleagues, but I passionately urge everyone in this chamber to take a personal, public and professional stand in support of marriage equality.