Pauline Hanson targets 'Muslim polygamists'
PAULINE Hanson has taken aim at polygamy, targeting Muslims in particular, saying taxpayers should not be paying to support them in social housing.
The One Nation leader was among eight of the 11 crossbenchers of the 45th Parliament in a debate hosted by Sky News on Monday.
The senators and senators-to-be discussed their respective agendas, but as expected, it was Ms Hanson who delivered the biggest shock of the night.
"I'm going to be controversial here," she started out.
"You've got people out there, of Muslim background, they're actually having four wives, numerous children, they're getting into housing commission houses, we're actually paying for that, and that is not right."
Upper house figure Nick Xenophon quickly dismissed her claims.
"I can't agree with that," he said.
"Polygamy is not legal in this country."
But Ms Hanson said: "No, but it's happening!"
Mr Xenophon criticised Ms Hanson for singling out Muslims in her argument.
"You can't single out one religion and pick on them," he said.
In Australia, a person who marries another person, knowing that the previous marriage is still subsisting, commits an offence of bigamy under section 94 of the Marriage Act 1961, which carries a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment.
In 2008, Islamic leaders, particularly Imams advocated the legalisation of polygamous marriages in Australia.
But former Attorney General Robert McClelland said: "There is absolutely no way that the government will be recognising polygamist relationships. They are unlawful and they will remain as such. Under Australian law, marriage is defined as the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others. Polygamous marriage necessarily offends this definition."
In 2012 polyamorists again lobbied for marriage recognition with the Australian "poly community" claimed to be, "diverse, and thriving".
But the Australian Greens have said that equal rights should involve only two consenting adults.
In 2014, there was a polyamory float in the 2014 Mardi Gras, themed, "Polyamory Sydney 'Birds of a Feather, love together' - the infinite love Nest".
Meanwhile, News Corp reported there were significant clashes between senators over the removal of 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act and Family Law court reform.
"It's going to be a very interesting senate," Ms Hanson said.
She got that right.