Magda Szubanski says 'some did not survive' the marriage equality postal survey
Australia may never know the human toll the same-sex marriage postal survey exacted on its citizens, an emotional Magda Szubanski has told the National Press Club.
The actor and prominent yes campaign advocate fiercely opposed the decision to conduct a postal survey, saying it would have adverse effects on gay and lesbian people.
Speaking while the Senate was in the final stages of debate to legalise
same-sex marriage, she said she was relieved nearly two-thirds of Australians had voted yes.
“The LGBTQI community were used as unwilling human guinea pigs in a political experiment,” she said on Wednesday. “We may never know the exact human cost of this experiment. The truth is some of us did not survive this process.”
Calls to LGBTQI help lines rose 300% during the debate over recent months.
Asked whether the ends justified the means, Szubanski said she could only wish a different path had been taken.
“Knowing that 62% of people wanted this is an amazing feeling, but would I trade that for the suffering? I don’t know. Who can make that call?” she said.
“This was a happy outcome but if a vote is ever put to the people like this again, I plead with you: do it better than this was done.”
Szubanski asked politicians to quickly legalise marriage equality and not betray the will of the people.
“In purely political terms it was a landslide, and if yes was a political party we would now have a staggering majority of 100 seats,” she said. “We have done our job. Now they must do theirs.”
Her speech came while the samesex marriage bill was being debated in the Senate where it passed 43 votes to 12.
The legislation heads to the lower house when it returns to Canberra on Monday.
Magda Szubanski says she’s relieved the postal survey achieved a majority yes vote, but its human cost was huge. Photograph: ABC TV