How will history record the marriage equality debate?
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When same-sex marriage is inevitably legalised, one wonders how we'll remember this week's debate and defeat of the marriage equality bill in the House of Representatives.
There's no doubt the Opposition's now former parliamentary secretary Cory Bernardi will land a special place in the future amongst those who fiercely opposed the bill. He offered the best ramblings of an individual out-of-touch with the public discourse, one whose comments saw him turfed from his position by Coalition leader Tony Abbott.
It's been 110 years since legislation passed granting non-aboriginal women the right to vote in federal elections. Every now and again, it's worthwhile returning to some of the comments made in the upper and lower houses during that vote to consider gender equality progress, and remember the individuals so amusingly far removed from popular opinion back in 1902.
Take the below for instance, selected from the Parliament of Australia website:
William Knox (Kooyong, Free Trade) in the House of Reps: 23 April 1902
"We are, in my opinion, running counter to the intentions and to the design of the Great Creator, and we are reversing those conditions of life to which woman was ordained.
"The main ambition of a woman's life should be to become the wife of an honorable and honest man.
"I have a mother, and I have a wife and a sister and daughters, and I wish to continue in the position of their supporter and their protector, and not to place them under the necessity of protecting their own political position. I do not wish them to have extended to them the right not only to vote, but to sit in this Chamber. It is man's duty to be here, and it is woman's duty to attend to the family."
Thomas Skene (Grampians, Free Trade) in the House of Reps, 23 April, 1902
"I, and many others, believe that woman has higher and more sacred functions to fulfil than those presented in political life."
Sir Josiah Symon (SA, Free Trade) in the Senate, 9 April 1902
"I feel that the introduction of political duties I put it that way into the ambit of their service in life is overloading them, and is certainly not promoting woman's destiny at its best."
Thomas Glassey (Qld, Protectionist Party) in the Senate, 9 April 1902
"Only yesterday I heard a woman say that she did not think it would be safe to confer this right on women, because very dire things were likely to follow. It is also alleged that women would be influenced by the clergy, by good-looking candidates, and by young men.
"The old argument has been used that the extension of the suffrage to women would take away their beauty and their charm, and cause them to neglect their domestic affairs it has been said that it would be a shame to invite women to go to the polling booth, because sometimes there is a good deal of rowdyism there."
Simon Fraser (Vic, Protectionist Party) in the Senate, 10 April 1902
"How will the passage of this Bill bring any more comfort to the home? I say that the passage of 50 such Bills would not bring one atom of benefit to the home in this or in any other country. On the other hand, in my opinion, it may create discord. I do not say that it will have that effect, to any great extent, because in 99 cases out of every 100 the wife will vote with the husband, the daughter with the father, the sister with the brother, and the effect will be only to multiply the family vote. In my home I shall have ten votes under this system instead of one."
Ninety eight members of the house voted against the marriage equality bill yesterday.
Senator Penny Wong said some aspects of the debate had been "regrettable, hateful and hurtful".
And Frontbencher Anthony Albanese told reporters that when it comes to marriage equality, "someday we'll be wondering what all the fuss was about".
Bernardi's ridiculous comments will become an amusing footnote, but what will history have to say about everyone else?