Our love exists: gay Labor senator

Gay senator Janet Rice has discussed her own relationship to call for the scrapping of a plebiscite. (AAP)

Gay Labor senator Louise Pratt has made an impassioned plea for the plebiscite to be scrapped, asking parliament to stop pretending her love doesn't exist.

It has been four years since gay Labor senator Louise Pratt stood up in parliament, pleading for it to stop pretending her love, her family didn't exist.

Two federal elections later, she is still waiting for marriage equality and faces the prospect of having her relationship subject to a "humiliating" national debate.

"Still, those on the other side are pretending that it is somehow OK to subject our relationships to some kind of abstract public debate," Senator Pratt told parliament on Thursday.

"No Australian, in my view, should have to witness a national debate on the worth or the value of their relationship."

The Senate has debated a private marriage equality bill proposed by Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young.

Debate was adjourned with government senators noting it had no chance of passing and insisting the February plebiscite was the only way to achieve marriage equality.

Senator Pratt called on her parliamentary colleagues to do their job rather than outsource the decision to an expensive opinion poll, fearing the psychological impact of a divisive debate.

The question to be put to voters in the plebiscite - should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry? - was nonsense because it excluded intersex people.

She said tax concessions given to religious organisations made the campaign unfair, allowing them to funnel money in a way that marriage equality campaigners could not.

Liberal senator Jane Hume insists voters want a plebiscite.

While she wants same-sex couples to be able to marry, her parents don't.

She urged parliament not to doubt the intentions of her colleagues, insisting dozens of those who will vote no to marriage equality in the plebiscite will respect the wishes of the public if the nation votes yes.

"I have canvassed their views and I am confident, indeed I am extremely encouraged," she said.

Conservative government backbencher George Christensen on Thursday said his vote in parliament would reflect the vote of his Dawson electorate in north Queensland.

"If my electorate votes for same-sex marriage I will cast my vote for it," he told reporters.

Source AAP

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