South Australian legislators have passed a motion congratulating New Zealand on its recent legalisation of gay marriage.
Labour MP Gerry Kandelaars tabled the motion in the South Australian Legislative Council, the upper house of the South Australian state parliament.
Mr Kandelaars has a gay daughter, News.com.au reports. He told MPs:
“My son can and is married but my daughter can’t marry her partner. The question is why? There is broad support across our community to see a change here.”
Liberal MP Michelle Lensink spoke in support of the motion, becoming emotional during her speech.
“Relationships and stability should be encouraged. I have too many gay and lesbian friends not to support (the motion) on their behalf.”
Meanwhile, Kandelaars’ fellow Labour MP Ian Hunter recounted his trip to Spain to marry partner Leith Semmens in a same sex ceremony. After the marriage, others began to see their relationship in a different light, he claimed.
“There’s a very different change in how I’m treated in my partner’s family. The concept of marriage is so well known to us. For members of my extended family who didn’t really know how to cope with our relationship, now they do – it’s a marriage.”
Mr Hunter is reported to be the only openly gay member of the South Australian parliament.
The motion was passed by 11 votes to 10.