Now, inevitably, the conservative, privileged backed, LNP government will claim that the ALP and the Greens are the ones who have prevented the opportunity for marriage equality. In reality, there was never need for a plebiscite, which would not have been binding on the Parliament anyway but would still have required a parliamentary vote.
All that is needed to provide marriage equality for Australians is for a change to be made to the Marriage Act. Indeed, the actual impediment to marriage equality is the amendment made by John Howard, one of our most anachronistic and conservative Prime Ministers. That change which added just a few words, defined marriage as confined to being between a man and a woman – a proviso that hadn’t been there before. John Howard made these changes without any consultation with the community, without any prior public discussion, and without any plebiscite. Therein lies the deceit of this government which is essentially continuing the hard right policies championed by Tony Abbott and fed to him by the Institute of Public Affairs (A Right-Wing Think Tank) and by Big Business.
Whatever you may hear said or read about this issue, the evidence is clear and several independent polls have shown that around 70% of Australians support marriage equality. Thus, there never was a need for a plebiscite, even on the grounds of gauging public opinion, let alone as part of the legislative process.
George Brandis, the Attorney-General, has said that if he plebiscite was voted down by the Senate, then marriage equality wouldn’t come about for years. If that be the case, it will be *entirely* the fault of the LNP conservative government because the Marriage Act can be amended at any time by a vote of the Parliament and it is only the LNP government that is refusing to allow this.
Malcolm Turnbull, who opposed the idea of a plebiscite when Tony Abbott, the then LNP leader and Prime Minister proposed it, should stop following the dictates of the hard right faction of the LNP and begin acting in line with the principled views that he appeared to hold before he was elected to the Prime Ministership. At present, it appears that he has made a Doran Gray deal with big-business, the IPA and the hard right, simply for the opportunity to gain and remain Prime Minister.
Decision will force a new conversation that will divide the Coalition and threatens to destabilise the Turnbull government.