Australia’s first openly gay indigenous politician Chansey Paech used his maiden speech at the opening of the new Northern Territory parliament to share his pride as the face of diversity in the Top End.
Chansey Paech said he entered the chamber “eternally proud of who I am and where I come from”.
“I own it and wear it with pride,” he said.
“I am young, I am gay, I am black. I’m a true-blue Territorian. I am a proud face of the diversity and future of the great Australian Labor Party.”
Paech, 28, won the central Australian seat of Namitjira, which includes Uluru, in Labor’s landslide election victory in August.
The new parliament includes 12 women and six indigenous members.
Paech also used his speech to support same-sex marriage and same-sex adoption reforms and the constitutional recognition of indigenous people.
“I look forward to the day when this country will recognise my rights as equal rights, when I too can marry in my country, on my country, as a recognised first Australian,” he said.
“I will stand proud with my Labor colleagues across our vast lands to ensure that all Territorians have equality and we reach a time when our first Australians are constitutionally recognised.”
Paech added that he would never allow or tolerate hate speech, homophobia or discrimination in the parliament.
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