I was proud to join with members of the activist group Vocal Majority in launching a photo album showing Australian families in all their forms and guises. I also had a few words to say about love overcoming prejudice:
ADDRESS TO THE VOCAL MAJORITY FAMILY ALBUM LAUNCH
THURSDAY, 28 AUGUST 2014
I acknowledge the Ngunnawal people, the traditional owners of the lands on which we meet today, my parliamentary colleagues Claire Moore and Larissa Waters, and ACT MLA Yvette Berry.
Thank you to the Vocal Majority organisers, including its founders Melanie Poole and Courtney Sloane, and Nikki and the team who run the organisation today.
My words today are not just for the people who have travelled halfway around the world to bring a message of intolerance and exclusion into the building behind me.
And they are not just for Coalition parliamentarians who think their personal prejudices should guide our nation’s policies.
My words today are for Australia’s mums and dads; its mums and mums; dads and dads – and anyone else who considers themselves to be part of a family bound together by love.
I want you to know that the love you feel for your family, the love which you give and receive in return, will rise above the hostility of those who seek to deny it. A love as strong and universal as yours demands recognition, and on a day not very far from now, I know that recognition will be given.
I am grateful every day for the love of my wife and three gorgeous, exasperating, exhilarating boys. But I am also very grateful to have shared in, and been witness to, the love between all sorts of families less traditional than mine.
Families like the one that my uncle created with the man who is his partner. Families like the two mums whose little girl attends my youngest son’s daycare centre.
There are hundreds of thousands of Australians in loving, warm and supportive families like these. And there are millions more Australians who understand that true love knows no bounds.
The majority of Australians no longer back laws which deem some forms of love more valuable than others. The majority of Australians know that in a world where we see and hear about the worst imaginable acts on an almost daily basis, love is too rare and precious to be divided into right and wrong kinds.
It is easy to feel disheartened when we face intolerance. But instead, you are here making today a day to take heart from. Along with the hundreds of Australians who have contributed to the fun and irreverent family album being presented here, you are showing that prejudice is no match for playfulness. That hatred is dispelled by the simple act of sharing happiness.
As one of the greatest campaigners for civil and political rights, Martin Luther King, once said: ‘Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.’ Thank you for being here today to show and share the love of your families.
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