Freshly minted Labor MP Susan Lamb gave an emotional maiden speech in Parliament yesterday, calling for same-sex marriage.
In the same week the Labor party is expected to veto the Coalition’s proposed Plebiscite on the matter, Lamb shared her experience as a mother of four boys to call for reform. She said while three of her sons have the right to marry, one does not. Simply because he is gay.
Lamb represents the Queensland seat of Longman, after defeating former Coalition minister Wyatt Roy. She spent most of her pre-political career working in education, and has also served as an organiser with United Voice.
She told Parliament that any parent understands the need to fight and speak out against the unfair treatment of their children.
“So today while I stand here incredibly proud to be a member of Parliament, I carry a sense of disillusionment that our laws treat the love of one son inferior to that of his brothers.”Discrimination against vulnerable minorities should never be a point of national debate, its mere existence should be the cause of immediate action.
She said no matter what the outcome, a plebiscite would be offensive to LGBTI Australians and insulting to those who love them. It’s a matter that’s deeply personal for her but one affecting many Australians. “I stand in solidarity with my son and the LGBTI community,” she said.
Lamb became a mother while still a teenager, and said walking into Parliament brought back similar feelings of nervousness, responsibility and overwhelm.
She said she wrote a letter to each of her sons after winning her seat, explaining that while she might miss some valuable time with them, the possibility of shaping their future would drive her work as a politician.