• Labor MP Linda Burney honours her late son in Parliament with a speech supporting Marriage Equality. (AAP)Source: AAP
Indigenous Labor MP Linda Burney dedicates heartfelt speech about Marriage Equality to her late son in Parliament.
Laura Morelli

5 Dec 2017 - 5:56 PM  UPDATED 5 Dec 2017 - 5:56 PM

In her first speech since the death of her son, Labor MP, Linda Burney fought back tears while showing her strong support for Marriage Equality.

"I support marriage equality as someone who has, and has had, loved ones who identify as LGBTIQ. To them, marriage equality would mean so much," Ms Burney said.

"I honour these people…In particular my late son, Binni."

She talks about seeing firsthand the confusion, anxiety and pain that young people experience in dealing with their sexuality and compared the postal survey to a reality TV show.

"[The survey] forced LGBTIQ loved ones to beg for their own civil rights, a truly humiliating and shameful exercise...particularly hurtful, unethical...to put the question of basic civil and human rights to a popular vote...as if it was some kind of reality TV show," she said.

"Be proud, and I'm so sorry that you've had to put up with the pain of the past.”

For young people that are anxious about their sexuality, the Wiradjuri woman says marriage equality means people shouldn’t be afraid of their feelings.

"Be proud, and I'm so sorry that you've had to put up with the pain of the past.”

Ms Burney reminded Australia this is not the first time marriage has been redefined, looking at the past where people of different races couldn't marry each other and informing people that this decision will not impact them.

“I have spent my entire life fighting for fairness. I have fought for the rights and welfare of first peoples. I have fought and will continue to fight to close the gap for recognition and for reconciliation.”

Standing strong for equity, Ms Burney affirmed her loyalty for the yes proposition saying it will help Australia grow as a nation.

“It would also say to a community that has experienced enormous hurt and enormous discrimination, including legal discrimination, that finally, 'We love you, we embrace you and you are as equal as anyone in Australia’.”

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