Senator Penny Wong has delivered another emotional speech in the Senate today, in support of the Dean Smith bill aiming to legalise same-sex marriage.
Sharing her own personal experiences of prejudice as well as why she’s supporting the bill, she concluded by thanking her partner and two young daughters.
“I say to Sophie, thank you for your love and commitment and for all you do.
“And I say to our beautiful daughters, Hannah and Alexandra, I work for, and fight for, the world I want for you.”
Wong said she experienced rejection growing up because, “of the colour of my skin, the colour of my hair, the shape of my eyes.”
“My mother, the third daughter of a farmer from the Adelaide Hills, married a Chinese man when the White Australia policy was still in place.
“It was this experience growing up in a predominantly white Australia that taught me the impact of fear and of prejudice, and it is from this experience that I am driven to remove discrimination and embed equality.
To all Australians thank you for standing up for fairness and equality. To my colleagues and all those who fought for this great outcome, thank you. pic.twitter.com/g8gaQJtzyC
— Senator Penny Wong (@SenatorWong) November 15, 2017
Wong also addressed the criticism she’s received for a number of years, after supporting the Labor opposition in legislating a ban on same-sex marriage during the Howard government in 2004.
“For me, Labor’s support for the Howard government’s amendment meant I voted for discrimination against myself.
“In 2004, many considered it untenable to support marriage equality. Now, it is untenable to oppose it.”
Wong said this the first same-sex marriage bill she’s put her name to, because it’s the first one she believes can actually pass.
Co-sponsors of the Marriage Amendment Bill Senators Louise Pratt, Janet Rice, Dean Smith, Skye Kakoschke-Moore, Penny Wong and Derryn Hinch pic.twitter.com/fDnHGwa8Pu
— andrew meares (@mearesy) November 15, 2017
Yesterday, Wong cried following the Yes announcement, a reaction that has since gone all over the world.
She told the TODAY show this morning that she’s, “just sort of trying to get over the somewhat embarrassed feeling of having cried in front of the entire country”.
Make that the entire world. And millions of people loved it.
Australia’s first openly gay woman Senator Penny Wong cried tears of joy after her country’s pro-marriage equality vote 😭 🏳️🌈 pic.twitter.com/JjqI4snJJu
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) November 15, 2017