Sarah Hanson-Young breaks down in tears during gay marriage debate

An emotional Sarah Hanson-Young has broken down in tears while delivering a speech about same-sex marriage.

Speaking to the senate on Monday, Greens Senator Hanson-Young revealed her best friend at school was gay and she would never wish his pain and suffering on other young Australians.

‘He struggled for a long time,’ she said.

‘Every now and again I’d tell people to bugger off when they tried to pick on him … but I remember thinking I never did quite enough to have his back.’

With mascara running down her cheeks, Senator Hanson-Young said she felt powerless against his tormentors.
‘It was just like, well that’s the way you are, so that’s the way people are going to treat you,’ she said.

The South Australian Senator said: ‘Young people in Australia deserve better than that’.

‘The Yes vote that occurred two weeks ago is so important for sending a message to these young people, young people just like Jonathan right around the country,’ she said.

Taking to Twitter following the speech, Senator Hanson-Young poked fun at the make-up running down her face.

‘I guess I shouldn’t have worn mascara. Oops!’ she said.

The Senate will aim to pass same-sex marriage laws this week after Australia voted Yes in a historic postal survey on same-sex marriage on November 15.

Close to eight million people, about 61.6 percent of the population, voted yes, while 4.8 million, about 38.4 percent of the population, voted No.

About 79.5 per cent of the population returned ballots to the controversial $122 million postal vote commissioned by the Federal Government.

The senate will debate the issue this week after Liberal Dean Smith introduced a bill to change the marriage laws.

Senator Smith introduced the bill on Thursday, one day after the postal survey results were released.

The government aimed to make same-sex marriage legal by Christmas, leaving senators just one week to debate the bill.

The upper house agreed to suspend all other government business so they could deal solely with the same-sex marriage bill.