An attempt by Christian Democrats MLC Fred Nile to delay debate on a NSW Greens motion urging federal Parliament to legalise same-sex marriage has backfired, with the Greens getting a motion passed recognising the contributions of lesbian mothers.
Nile had moved a contingency motion recognising Mother’s Day, pushing the Greens marriage equality motion off this week’s agenda and resulting in MLCs instead paying tribute to mothers.
Greens MLC Cate Faehrmann (pictured) sought to amend Nile’s motion to include single mothers and mothers in same-sex relationships.
“This House notes that in Australia, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday in May [and that] Mother’s Day is a celebration honouring mothers and celebrating motherhood, maternal bonds and the influence of mothers in society,” the successful motion read.
“Mother’s Day is also a time to celebrate the important mother figures who may have played an important role in our lives … All mothers, including grandmothers, step-mothers, mothers-in-law, foster mothers, single mothers and mothers in same-sex relationships are an important part of many families and make an invaluable contribution to children’s lives.
“This House acknowledges the remarkable sacrifices mothers make for the wellbeing of their loved ones.”
Faehrmann said she was disappointed the Coalition had allowed Nile’s motion to proceed.
“This was a blatant delaying tactic from the anti-equality forces in the NSW Legislative Council which the Government supported,” Faehrmann said.
“Members have known for weeks that the motion would be debated soon, and instead of sending a clear message to Canberra that it’s time for marriage equality, we were sitting in Parliament hearing stories about MPs’ mothers.
“On the day that [US president Barack] Obama has shown real leadership on marriage equality, it’s a disgrace that the NSW Parliament was forced to endure such an unedifying debate.”
Coalition MPs were given a conscience vote on the amended motion.
The marriage equality motion is now expected to be debated on Thursday next week.