The majority voted in favour of a motion that the words proposed to be omitted stand part of the question. In other words, the majority wanted the words of the motion to remain unchanged. Those words were: "That this bill be now read a second time".

Leader of the Opposition Brendan Nelson had proposed the following motion: "That all words after “That” be omitted with a view to substituting the following words: “whilst not declining to give the bill a second reading, the House: (1) affirms its commitment to the central importance of the institution of marriage to Australian society; (2) recognises that partners to permanent interdependent domestic relationships other than marriage (including, but not limited to, same-sex relationships) ought not to be discriminated against in relation to their financial affairs; and (3) notes that the Opposition will refer the bill to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee with a view to ensuring that, in removing discrimination against people in same-sex relationships: (a) the centrality of marriage is not devalued, whether by the use of inappropriate statutory language or otherwise; (b) the rights and status of children are properly protected; and (c) the rights and status of people in interdependent relationships other than same-sex relationships are recognised and properly protected”."

Background to the bill

This bill was introduced to amend the fourteen Acts governing and regulating superannuation schemes in order to increase coverage of same-sex couples and their children.(Read more about the bill in its bills digest. Its explanatory memorandum can be found here.) It comes following Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission's report Same Sex: Same Entitlements.


Votes Passed by a small majority

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
Australian Labor Party (89% turnout) 72 Yes 0 No
Dick Adams Lyons Yes
Anthony Albanese Grayndler Yes
Arch Bevis Brisbane Yes
James Bidgood Dawson Yes
Sharon Bird Cunningham Yes
Chris Bowen Prospect Yes
David Bradbury Lindsay Yes
Tony Burke Watson Yes
Mark Butler Port Adelaide Yes
Anthony Byrne Holt Yes
Jodie Campbell Bass Yes
Nick Champion Wakefield Yes
Darren Cheeseman Corangamite Yes
Jason Clare Blaxland Yes
Julie Collins Franklin Yes
Greg Combet Charlton Yes
Yvette D'Ath Petrie Yes
Bob Debus Macquarie Yes
Justine Elliot Richmond Yes
Annette Ellis Canberra Yes
Kate Ellis Adelaide Yes
Craig Emerson Rankin Yes
Laurie Ferguson Reid Yes
Martin Ferguson Batman Yes
Joel Fitzgibbon Hunter Yes
Peter Garrett Kingsford Smith Yes
Steve Georganas Hindmarsh Yes
Jennie George Throsby Yes
Steve Gibbons Bendigo Yes
Gary Gray Brand Yes
Sharon Grierson Newcastle Yes
Alan Griffin Bruce Yes
Damian Hale Solomon Yes
Jill Hall Shortland Yes
Chris Hayes Werriwa Yes
Julia Irwin Fowler Yes
Sharryn Jackson Hasluck Yes
Mike Kelly Eden-Monaro Yes
Duncan Kerr Denison Yes
Kirsten Livermore Capricornia Yes
Jenny Macklin Jagajaga Yes
Richard Marles Corio Yes
Robert McClelland Barton Yes
Maxine McKew Bennelong Yes
Bob McMullan Fraser Yes
Daryl Melham Banks Yes
John Murphy Lowe Yes
Belinda Neal Robertson Yes
Shayne Neumann Blair Yes
Brendan O'Connor Gorton Yes
Julie Owens Parramatta Yes
Melissa Parke Fremantle Yes
Graham Perrett Moreton Yes
Tanya Plibersek Sydney Yes
Roger Price Chifley Yes
Brett Raguse Forde Yes
Kerry Rea Bonner Yes
Bernie Ripoll Oxley Yes
Amanda Rishworth Kingston Yes
Janelle Saffin Page Yes
Bill Shorten Maribyrnong Yes
Sid Sidebottom Braddon Yes
Warren Snowdon Lingiari Yes
Jon Sullivan Longman Yes
Mike Symon Deakin Yes
Lindsay Tanner Melbourne Yes
Craig Thomson Dobell Yes
Kelvin Thomson Wills Yes
Chris Trevor Flynn Yes
Jim Turnour Leichhardt Yes
Maria Vamvakinou Calwell Yes
Tony Zappia Makin Yes
Simon Crean Hotham Absent
Michael Danby Melbourne Ports Absent
Mark Dreyfus Isaacs Absent
Julia Gillard Lalor Absent
Catherine King Ballarat Absent
Nicola Roxon Gellibrand Absent
Kevin Rudd Griffith Absent
Stephen Smith Perth Absent
Wayne Swan Lilley Absent
Anna Burke Chisholm Deputy Speaker Absent
Tony Windsor New England Independent Yes
Bob Katter Kennedy Independent Absent
Liberal Party (87% turnout) 0 Yes 48 No
Tony Abbott Warringah No
Kevin Andrews Menzies No
Bruce Billson Dunkley No
Bronwyn Bishop Mackellar No
Julie Bishop Curtin No
Steven Ciobo Moncrieff No
Peter Costello Higgins No
Peter Dutton Dickson No
Pat Farmer Macarthur No
Joanna Gash Gilmore No
Petro Georgiou Kooyong No
Barry Haase Kalgoorlie No
Alex Hawke Mitchell No
David Hawker Wannon No
Joe Hockey North Sydney No
Greg Hunt Flinders No
Steve Irons Swan No
Dennis Jensen Tangney No
Michael Johnson Ryan No
Michael Keenan Stirling No
Andrew Laming Bowman No
Sussan Ley Farrer No
Ian Macfarlane Groom No
Nola Marino Forrest No
Louise Markus Greenway No
Margaret May McPherson No
Sophie Mirabella Indi No
Scott Morrison Cook No
Brendan Nelson Bradfield No
Chris Pearce Aston No
Christopher Pyne Sturt No
Rowan Ramsey Grey No
Don Randall Canning No
Stuart Robert Fadden No
Philip Ruddock Berowra No
Alby Schultz Hume No
Patrick Secker Barker No
Luke Simpkins Cowan No
Peter Slipper Fisher No
Tony Smith Casey No
Alex Somlyay Fairfax No
Andrew Southcott Boothby No
Sharman Stone Murray No
Wilson Tuckey O'Connor No
Malcolm Turnbull Wentworth No
Danna Vale Hughes No
Mal Washer Moore No
Jason Wood La Trobe No
Fran Bailey McEwen Absent
Bob Baldwin Paterson Absent
Russell Broadbent McMillan Absent
Alexander Downer Mayo Absent
Peter Lindsay Herbert Absent
Judi Moylan Pearce Absent
Andrew Robb Goldstein Absent
National Party (89% turnout) 0 Yes 8 No
John Cobb Calare No
Mark Coulton Parkes No
Luke Hartsuyker Cowper No
Kay Hull Riverina No
Paul Neville Hinkler No
Bruce Scott Maranoa No
Warren Truss Wide Bay No
Mark Vaile Lyne No
John Forrest Mallee Absent
Harry Jenkins Scullin Speaker Absent
Totals (87% turnout) 73 Yes – 56 No