Motion: Parliamentary Apology

Mr HIBBINS (Prahran) — I rise to speak on the motion for the suspension of standing orders for a parliamentary apology for the laws criminalising homosexuality. I welcome the changes to this motion, which will allow not only the Premier and the Leader of the Opposition but also the Minister for Equality and representatives of other parties to speak on the apology motion.

Such laws ruin lives and careers. They are discriminatory laws that criminalise love, sexuality and people for just being who they are. As other members have done, I acknowledge the work done by the previous government, the previous Parliament and certainly the previous member for Prahran, Clem Newton-Brown, to expunge these laws. I certainly welcomed that, and a parliamentary apology should follow. I will be speaking more on that when that apology comes.

As the Victorian Greens spokesperson for LGBTI equality, I acknowledge, as I am sure the Minister for Equality or any member who takes up the cause of LGBTI equality would acknowledge, that when you enter into this space, you walk in the shoes of giants — of all those people in the LGBTI community who have fought so hard for so long for equality. In our privileged, special position as legislators and parliamentarians, it is up to us to use our role, whether it be through legislation or through this apology, to further the cause of equality. We will certainly be supporting this motion.

Motion agreed to.

Business interrupted under sessional orders.