Come Clean On Your Plebescite Mr Turnbull

Mr Turnbull’s marriage equality plebiscite was always going to be wasteful, hurtful and divisive – now we know that it will also be pointless, and set up to fail.

THE HON MARK DREYFUS QC MP
SHADOW ATTORNEY-GENERAL
SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE ARTS
MEMBER FOR ISAACS

COME CLEAN ON YOUR PLEBISCITE MR TURNBULL

Mr Turnbull’s marriage equality plebiscite was always going to be wasteful, hurtful and divisive – now we know that it will also be pointless, and set up to fail.

Reports today suggest that conservative MPs will be given licence to vote against marriage equality in Parliament if their individual electorates have voted ‘no’ in the plebiscite.

This follows Mr Turnbull’s shocking revelation on Friday that not even his own Cabinet will be bound to follow the people’s wishes in the event of a ‘yes’ vote in favour of marriage equality.

Which must lead us to ask – what exactly is the point of this $160 million plebiscite?

What we do know is it will be hurtful to Australia’s LGBTI community and a divisive influence on our nation, not to mention a waste of taxpayers’ money.

The Abbott-Turnbull Government and its Attorney-General, George Brandis, have never been honest with the Australian people on their plans for this wasteful, divisive $160 million plebiscite.

You cannot trust this Government when it comes to marriage equality.

The old Malcolm Turnbull may have said he believed in it. Now, he is beholden to the hard right-wing of his party who have only agreed to support this plebiscite so they can see marriage equality delayed or defeated. 

Labor is extremely concerned about the negative messages LGBTI teens and children of same-sex parents will hear during a plebiscite debate.

If there’s one thing LGBTI Australians – and their children – don’t need, it’s a long campaign where one side of the debate has public licence to argue that there’s something wrong with being gay or lesbian, and that same-sex parents are second-rate. 

That's why within 100 days of winning office, a Shorten Labor Government will legislate for marriage equality in the Parliament.

A vote for Labor is a vote for marriage equality.

SATURDAY, 25 JUNE 2016