Australia | Gay Marriage | Louise Pratt | News

Australian Senator Louise Pratt Fights Back Tears in Emotional, 'Personal' Floor Speech Demanding Marriage Equality: VIDEO


Australian Labor Senator Louise Pratt, who has a transgender partner, gave an emotional floor speech on Monday arguing for the need for marriage equality, fighting back tears as she told the few fellow lawmakers assembled that the bill is "personal" for her.

Said Pratt:

"I am one of those hundreds of thousands of Australian citizens who knows that the laws of our nation hold our capacity for love and for commitment to be lesser because of the gender of our partner...One of hundreds of thousands of Australian citizens who knows that the laws of our nation say we are less deserving of rights, respect and recognition. We know that those ideas are not true and that the laws that reinforce them are not right. This debate has a personal impact for me."

She added:

"I think it is one of the bitterest, bitterest ironies of this debate that historically gay people have been stigmatized as promiscuous and immoral while being denied by the law the right to demonstrate the importance and consistency of their relationships in the way that any other Australian can. Think about that."

Pratt argues powerfully for the rights of LGBT as well as intersex individuals. Hopefully YouTube will give Pratt's speech a wider audience.


Feed This post's comment feed


  1. she hit the nail right on the head there. If we are allowed to get married then no one can use the argument anymore that we are wierd/different/immoral/promiscous. That's the reason people are fighting so hard against gay marriage. Once it exists everywhere then they can no longer stigmatize an entire group of people.

    Posted by: paul | Sep 17, 2012 10:25:17 AM

  2. Unfortunately, Australia is at least 10 years away from any form of gay civil marriage at all. That's how behind it is.

    Australia is a strange country full of rednecks but with some very small pockets of liberalism in cities like Sydney and Melbourne. Predominantly, however, it is like Alabama or Kentucky in the USA - ie trailer trash with racist, xenophobic and homophobic belief systems.

    As I said, the Aussies are way behind and they will remain way behind. The other drawback is that the gay community in Australia is a disorganized rabble. There is nothing like GLAAD or Human Rights Campaign as there is in the USA. Australia's gays have nowhere near anything resembling mainstream influence.

    That's unless you call dressing in drag "gay".

    Posted by: jason | Sep 17, 2012 10:31:41 AM

  3. Jason doesnt sound that different from the US really...i would say its going to take at least ten years here for full equality too...maybe longer if Romney wins in November and nominates the next two supreme court appointees....

    Posted by: paul | Sep 17, 2012 10:35:49 AM

  4. Australia already has better LGTB relationship recognition than the US will have for decades to come. They recognize gay and straight de facto relationships, so just by living together, gay couples have most of the same rights as a married couple. That includes federal benefits like immigration, health care and social security

    Posted by: Steve | Sep 17, 2012 10:38:48 AM

  5. Steve,

    Many countries recognize de-facto same-sex relationships. The point is to achieve full equal rights. Australia does not have any gay marriage rights, and is thus behind many countries including the USA. The USA has six states which allow gay marriage.

    Not wanting to sound harsh but I think Australia's gays are hopelessly disorganized. There's none of the structure you see in the USA.

    Posted by: jason | Sep 17, 2012 10:44:03 AM

  6. Jason:
    "and they will remain way behind."
    It's funny and ironical that how easily you can pass a judgement about the unseen future. Get a life already.

    Posted by: Pommie | Sep 17, 2012 11:09:17 AM

  7. Jason:
    "and they will remain way behind."
    It's funny and ironical that how easily you can pass a judgement about the unseen future. Get a life already.

    Posted by: Pommie | Sep 17, 2012 11:09:19 AM

  8. They may be behind, but for purposes of immigration, they have had a means to recognize relationship status of gay people since at least the 90's.

    Believe it or not, owning something together, even as absurd as a microwave, was enough to be recognized as a couple, and earn a residency status.

    Never look for the logic in Marriage Equality; it isn't there. It has only, ever been about prejudice.

    Posted by: Pete N SFO | Sep 17, 2012 11:10:10 AM

  9. I really have to laugh at Andy Towle's politically correct antics. He prattles on about "the rights of LGBT as well as intersex individuals."

    Of course, in the real world, there is no such thing as "LGBT"; it is just a nonsensical concept dreamed up by "queer" activists to warp gay identity into something more radical, and which is mindlessly repeated by drones like Andy. But the hilarious thing is that Andy doesn't realize that the "T" is supposed to encompass "intersex individuals." By breaking the intersexed out from the "T", Andy has committed a politically incorrect faux pas.

    Posted by: Hank | Sep 17, 2012 11:24:32 AM

  10. @Hank: Transgender is not the same as intersex. I suggest this page from the Intersex Society of North America to clarify the difference:

    This was an amazing speech. People need to hear such personal pleas to recognize that if they vote against equal human rights they are hurting real people who are living among them.

    Posted by: GregV | Sep 17, 2012 12:36:46 PM

  11. We exist. The job of the "conservatives" is to stop pretending that we don't.

    Beautifully written and movingly spoken. Thank you, Senator Pratt.

    Posted by: Glenn I | Sep 17, 2012 1:49:13 PM

  12. I swear every time Australia is mentioned, Jason just copies and pastes the same xenophobic rant from his note pad to the comments section; haven't we read these comments before?

    Posted by: andrew | Sep 17, 2012 5:28:46 PM

  13. Sorry Jason, you don't know what you are on about. Some 67 % of the aussie population supports gay marriage. The politicians are behind. But one of the problems is now that virtually all other forms of discrimination have been erased, with same sex couple being treated equally in family law, tax, employment protection etc. In many ways it is now down to the use of the word marriage, not the concept of same sex relations. And a couple of states now have civil registers. The US still has no national recognition of same sex relationship, gays are discriminated in the tax system, family law etc. on a regular basis. Sorry, but the US is no beacon of hope for the world on this one

    Posted by: Bob | Sep 17, 2012 7:16:32 PM

  14. A great speech but I can see Australia is just as corrupt and right wing as every other country - they obviously scheduled this speech very early or very late so there is no one actually listening to her ! How disgraceful ! The room is EMPTY ! Where are her fellow Labor politicians to support her ?!!??!!

    Posted by: Icebloo | Sep 17, 2012 7:20:31 PM

  15. Bravo! Amazing and moving speech!

    Posted by: Sailingsam | Sep 17, 2012 8:54:52 PM

  16. I enjoyed evaluation your article. It is refreshing to see frank and unbolt opinion on this subject.

    Posted by: international dxs | Jan 17, 2013 5:49:28 AM

Post a comment


« « Daniel Radcliffe Does a Google+ Hangout for The Trevor Project: VIDEO« «