I am delighted to speak, along with my colleague, the member for Summer Hill, and other progressive members of Parliament, on this matter of public importance and to celebrate the overwhelming endorsement of marriage equality by the Australian community.
I am a lifelong friend and ally of the LGBTIQ community and I have watched its members struggle for this outcome for many years. This fight for equal rights has been a simple one, but right-wing reactionaries, conservatives and those in the political class who pander to them have been desperate to make this about everything and anything other than the simple question put to us by the Bureau of Statistics.
In my electorate, the yes result was higher than the national average. I am pleased that Blue Mountains residents saw through the divisive, hurtful and deceitful campaign run by those opposed to equality. Instead, like me, they were moved by the faces and stories of the push for equality. I commend couples from my electorate like Belinda and Selena, who were the face of the equality campaign in my office.
I commend the PinkMountains community group and its devoted activists, such as Peter Hackney, Jan Forrester, Kevin Hardwick, Malcolm McPherson, Kylie Watson and Tiffany Athens.
My Federal colleague Susan Templeman and I were proud to stand behind these hardworking, tough activists and support them in their efforts to boost the support of equality in our community.
I also note the support of Blue Mountains City Council, especially from our Mayor Mark Greenhill, Romola Hollywood, Don McGregor, and Mick Fell. I send my thanks and love to my colleague from the other place, the Hon. Penny Sharpe, for her efforts.
I also note that the campaign for equality was fought by LGBTIQ activists and their allies throughout the central campaign.
In particular, I want to single out the contributions of my Socialist Left comrades Georgia Kriz, Audrey Marsh, Zack Solomon, Matt Howard and Mitch Wilson. These young campaign organisers have delivered some of the biggest results for the yes vote in the country, and the legacy of this significant victory is something they can rightly feel pride in for the rest of their lives.
I thank and congratulate and celebrate with them, their families and partners, their loved ones and friends and every comrade and ally of the campaign for this fabulous and well-deserved victory against bigotry and fear.