The Politics of Marriage
This post is nothing original. You can read a myriad of newspaper articles explaining what each political parties stance is on same sex marriage. But here is my two cents worth, for those who may not have the chance to read up before election day this Saturday, but may like to check facebook!!
Tony Abbott made his intentions clear. He was dead set against same sex marriage despite having a lesbian sister who wants to get married. Malcolm Turnbull, the moderate of the Liberals was once full of hope as his personal opinion seemed to be pro legalising same sex marriage. But alas, there has been no further progress. Should the Liberals get elected again, they are floating the idea of a plebiscite.
A plebiscite is a public vote that resembles more of a poll than a referendum because it is not legally binding and doesn't effect the constitution, even if there is an overwhelming majority. It costs a lot of money (we are talking estimates of $160 million), and it appears that plenty of research has already been done to find out what Australians think.
According to Australian Marriage Equality, “the Liberal Party’s go-to research company, Crosby/Textor, has found 72 per cent of the public already supports it, higher than many countries with marriage equality.
Because plebiscites are not constitutionally binding, Liberal MPs will have the opportunity to still vote against it in parliament. So it could be a lot of taxpayer money down the drain. (Ironically, if same sex marriage was legalised, imagine the boost to the economy with all the extra weddings!)
Furthermore, there is a moral question of why a nation needs to vote on the rights of a minority group. It is a human rights issue that leaves the LGBTIQ community begging for the mercy of the rest of Australia.
Bill Shorten has announced that if Labour is elected, marriage equality would be his first legislative act. No plebiscites needed.
Probably obvious, but they are in full support of same sex marriage.
For further information on individual parties, I stumbled across this document which gives a succinct summary of all the parties and their stance on major issues.
Based on recent history, I understand that whoever is elected may or may not be able to fulfill their promises. And elections are not always about a single issue and politics is never black and white.
But I know my vote will not be going towards a costly unnecessary plebiscite for this important human rights issue.