News

Mother's Day in way of gay marriage

THE seemingly non-controversial topic of Mother's Day sparked a bitter round of political point-scoring in NSW Parliament on Thursday morning.

Greens MP Cate Faehrmann accused right wing politicians of blocking her motion to open the debate on same-sex marriage with "stories about MPs' mothers".

Ms Faehrmann had flagged the marriage equality motion earlier in the week, but a push from the Christian Democrats to move a motion on Mothers' Day was backed by Coalition MPs.

In the two hours that followed, MPs were given the chance to speak about what Mother's Day meant to them and in the end, there was no time for a debate on marriage equality.

Ms Faehrmann descried the motion as a "blatant delaying tactic from the anti-equality forces" in the NSW Legislative Council.

She said on the day US President Barrack Obama backed same-sex marriage, the topic could not have been more relevant.

When she was unable to put forward her motion, Ms Faehrmann successfully amended the Mother's Day motion to recognise mothers in same-sex relationships.

Outraged Liberal MP David Clarke, who described the amendment as "disgraceful, shameful and sly", said Ms Faehrmann had turned something "very innocent" into "one of her same-sex things".

"The motion did not discriminate against any mothers in the first place," Mr Clarke said

"The Greens used it for a divisive political purpose. We were simply praising mothers for what they do and she couldn't resist getting on her soap box."

The conservative MP said he could not believe Ms Faehrmann had the "gall" to complain about the amount of time spent on Mother's Day when "it was greatly prolonged by her attempt to prevent the motion from being discussed at all".

He said private members mornings were not generally the time to bring up controversial topics.

"As an example I feel strongly about the issue of abortion," Mr Clarke said

"But I was not going to use that motion to talk about mothers having abortions.

"The amendment was a shameful way for them to push their agenda and it was entirely inappropriate."

Topics:  gay marriage mother's day nsw parliament



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