Liberal senator Zed Seselja came under sustained fire on Q&A by a member of Israel’s Zionist Union party as Australia’s marriage equality debate took an unexpected turn.
Merav Michaeli refused to hold back on her strongly held views on marriage – that being, no marriage at all.
“It [marriage] was created back at the time when we women were commodities, as were children, as were men without property and of other colours,” she said.
“This is not something that we should maintain in the world when we realise all of us are human beings.
“It is not about love … This was a tool that was made to dominate women for the sake of reproduction.
“This is not something we should sustain.”
— ABC Q&A (@QandA) September 11, 2017
Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus cited that 23 countries in the developed world now have legislated in favour of marriage equality.
“Countries very similar to our own in a cultural or political sense – Canada, the UK, New Zealand, the USA have all had marriage equality for years now,” he said.
“And as far as I can see, they have only benefitted from achieving marriage equality.
“I don’t think that any dire consequences have befallen any of those countries which have already long since achieved marriage equality.”
But Senator Seselja, who is also the Assistant Minister for Social Services, argued that redefining marriage has impacted these countries in various ways.
“In Canada there’s been a number of instances where since they changed the law to redefine marriage, for instance, parental choice has been affected when it comes to things like sex education in schools,” he said.
“We’ve seen in the UK a Jewish school which has been told unless they adopt the Safe Schools type curriculum, the gender fluidity, that they may have their registration threatened.
“So those kind of effects on freedom of speech, freedom of religion, parental rights have played out in other parts.”
‘Fighting for the right to suppress people’
Ms Michaeli was quick to call it for what she saw and was met by loud applause from the studio audience.
“I like it so much when the right takes the terms that the left has brought about human rights and turns it around and is fighting for the right to suppress other people. I really love that,” she said sarcastically.
“Suppress your child and don’t allow your child what they prefer, what they like, what they want to be when they grow up.
“Don’t allow them. Deny them a free choice. Yes, by all means.”
Ms Michaeli added that she believed the so-called “core family” was not as safe as it was made out to be, with one in five children suffering some form of abuse.
Senator Seselja said he “disagreed vehemently” with the notion that the family is an inherently unsafe place.
“You can disagree. This is reality. Had you been working for the benefit and recognising violence and domestic violence, you would have known this is just the reality,” Ms Michaeli retorted.
Senator Seselja responded: “I’m very aware of the issues around domestic violence.”
“Apparently not,” she quickly rebutted.