South Australian Labor MLC Gerry Kandelaars has used his maiden speech to call for marriage equality and changes to the state’s IVF laws to allow lesbian access.

Kandelaars said his lesbian daughter Katie and her partner Simone should be legally allowed to marry.

“In the eyes of the law, they are second-class citizens, which they are certainly not,” Kandelaars told Parliament yesterday.

“As a father of a homosexual daughter, I know the anguish that the current laws that prohibit gay marriage cause, not only for Katie and Simone but also for the rest of our tight-knit family.”

Mr Kandelaars called on Australians to “truly accept that homosexuality is a reality.”

“Homosexual couples should be able to have their relationship and their love recognised under our secular law, just as heterosexual couples can,” he said.

Last year Kandelaars supported Finance Minister Penny Wong’s motion calling for marriage equality at the South Australian Labor Party state conference.

Kandelaars told Parliament he would also support fellow Labor MLC Ian Hunter’s push to allow lesbian and single women access IVF in South Australia.

Hunter has introduced an Assisted Reproductive Treatment Bill into Parliament.

“In my view, parenting is not about gender but about your commitment and devotion to your children and about the love you have for them and about what is in your heart,” Kandelaars said.

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