Jeff Kennett pens his support for same-sex marriage and Safe Schools
Former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett has penned his support for same-sex marriage and the anti bullying program Safe Schools in a lengthy opinion piece in the Herald Sun.
Kennett suggested there was nothing to fear from same-sex marriage, saying sexuality was not a choice and everyone should be allowed to marry the person they love.
“Why should we deny those who love each other, regardless of their sex, the right to marry?” he asked.
Kennett went on to say little would change should the legislation be allowed.
“My life won’t change if people of the same sex marry. The Earth is not going to shake or change for me. But I know it will for those Australians who want to marry their partner but are prohibited from doing so in this country. Yes, they can marry in other countries, but they should be able to marry in the country of their birth, among family and friends,” Kennett said.
He described the planned plebiscite on the issue as an “abject waste of public money”.
“It seems when politicians are spending our money, they have no qualms about wasting it. We have deficit and debt problems, and this preparedness to waste our money is contrary to Canberra’s message about reducing spending and eliminate waste,” he added.
Kennett, who is also chairman for Beyondblue went on to praise Safe Schools for attempting to end discrimination and promote inclusivity in schools.
“[But] at its core, the Safe Schools program is to educate children against discrimination. Beyondblue supports that. And shouldn’t all politicians argue against discrimination? If so, ending discrimination against those of the same sex marrying fits into this broader campaign.”
He said whilst he was not always a supporter of same-sex marriage he had come to realise everyone deserves the right to live the “the fullest and happiest life possible, including marrying his or her partner”.
“What right do I have to deny another law-abiding Australian the same happiness, the same opportunities I have enjoyed all my life?” Kennett asked.
“This is not a question of Right or Left but of fairness, of equality and of reducing discrimination in our society. And it should not be an issue that comes at a financial cost to the community. It should be decided by a vote of the parliament."
Kennett said the PM should introduce a Bill into the parliament and allow all members a conscience vote.
“We don’t need a plebiscite. It’s a deplorable waste of money.”