Pauline Hanson has said she doesn’t yet know whether she will support Dean Smith’s marriage equality bill, in a bizarre speech to the Senate today.
She invoked slippery-slope arguments about polygamy and child marriage, saying she is concerned about the “ramifications this is going to have on our society”.
“They are kids — let them be children.
“My concern is that in time to come the parliament and it’s members could at any time change to include multiple marriages or marriages of people under a certain age and I don’t believe that will be the will of the people.”
Hanson said she would move an amendment to the bill that would allow civil celebrants to refuse to marry same-sex couples.
“I’m very divided in how I’m going to vote on this. I’m yet to make up my mind,” she said.
She said she will allow a conscience vote for One Nation colleagues.
Hanson’s speech took a bizarre turn as she compared the marriage equality debate to Indigenous rights and claimed Australia has “reverse racism”.
Turning her attention back to marriage, Hanson said the expensive postal survey should not have happened.
Unlike others who have criticised the survey for predictably confirming what polls have shown for years, the One Nation senator complained about the expense “so a couple of people can get married”.
Hanson concluded the rollercoaster speech by saying, “I’ve made myself clear.”
The Senate is continuing debate over details of the marriage reform bill today, after continuing late into the night.
Debate over protection of “religious freedoms” for wedding celebrants and service providers has been pushed to next year to allow legislating marriage equality to be prioritised before Christmas.