Motion: LGBTIQ Community

Mr GARDNER ( Morialta ) ( 17:12 ): It is with resignation and sadness that I rise to talk on this motion. We, as a house, and I think each of the members in it on behalf of our communities, share in expressing our heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of the victims of the recent horrific mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, and, the second part of the motion, that we stand together with the LGBTIQ community around the world to condemn such a senseless act of violence, and denounce all forms of discrimination that may contribute to such hatred. 

I stand because I feel, as a representative of my community and one of the members of the opposition who is able to do so today, a burden of responsibility to share my grief and my lack of understanding of what can go through the mind of somebody who dehumanises people to such an extent that when they walk into a room they want to take away their life and their humanity altogether. All evil begins with the removal in your own eyes of somebody else's humanity or with failure to accept that that person is human or your failure to accept that they have any purpose being here. 

I think that when we try to comprehend the incomprehensible and we try to imagine the drivers of evil, it really is important for us as community leaders to contemplate how we can lead our communities in a way that will ensure that all of us are constantly encouraging us to see the humanity in the eyes of the people we stand with, to never forget their humanity and to never forget their God-given place on this earth that we share for but a moment. 

I do not want to talk about political day-to-day issues on the Australian landscape today. I do not want to argue about the political histories of whose party is responsible for this or whose party is responsible for that. My party stands proud with forerunners like Murray Hill, Steele Hall and David Tonkin, who were at the forefront of rights for gay and lesbian South Australians decades ago. We stand here as a parliament united—united in our condemnation of hatred and united in our condemnation of evil. 

In as much as there is a raging debate going on in the United States—and in the last couple of days Congress has been considering changes to gun laws—in this country, many of us do not understand the decisions that are necessarily being made, but those elected representatives serve their communities in the way they see fit, and that is their sovereign right. I do make the very brief point that an atrocity such as this is hard to imagine possible in this country because the availability of weapons that are capable of committing such an atrocity is not here. 

It is important, when we contemplate our role as lawmakers, that we look to current events and to history. As the member for Finniss identified, that is why it is important to note matters such as these in the parliament for a brief hour. On behalf of my community, on behalf of my party and on behalf of this parliament, I am sure everyone will share my words. We grieve for those who have been slain and we share nothing but deep sorrow and the heaviest of condolences with their families. We wish that we may not have motions like this in the future. We may wish in vain, but we still wish it.