Government makes a mess of marriage equality

The Turnbull Government’s $160 million plebiscite on marriage equality has not even gone to cabinet and already the government has descended into open warfare.

THE HON MARK DREYFUS QC MP

SHADOW ATTORNEY-GENERAL

SHADOW MINISTER FOR NATIONAL SECURITY

MEMBER FOR ISAACS

 

TERRI BUTLER MP

SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR EQUALITY

MEMBER FOR GRIFFITH

 

GOVERNMENT MAKES A MESS OF MARRIAGE EQUALITY

 

The Turnbull Government’s $160 million plebiscite on marriage equality has not even gone to cabinet and already the government has descended into open warfare.

 

“As predicted, Prime Minister Turnbull has not been able to control the right wing of his own party, who have embarrassingly split from senior members of government on the question of guaranteeing millions of dollars of taxpayer funding for opponents of marriage equality to wage a hate campaign. Make no mistake, this is the beginning of a full backbench revolt against Mr Turnbull,” Mark Dreyfus said.

 

“This was always going to happen. Prime Minister Turnbull has no control over his party on the issue of marriage equality. And there is no guarantee he will not give in to their demands to protect his own leadership.

 

“That’s because they know he has no spine on marriage equality – and he’ll do and say whatever he has to so he can keep his job.

 

“Australia’s LGBTI community deserves better than having their rights made the subject of an ugly internal political fight within the coalition. That is before the plebiscite itself even occurs – which would amplify that internal fight many times over, giving rise to a hateful, hurtful and wasteful public debate,” he said.

 

“Mr Turnbull’s pathetic game of telling both sides of the debate what they want to hear is falling apart, with church leaders calling his bluff on a promise for public funding for the “no” campaign.

 

“Either Mr Turnbull lied to the church leaders, or he is lying to the Australian public about his intentions,” he said.

 

“Today, in Parliament, Bill Shorten will introduce a bill to legalise marriage equality,” Terri Butler said.

 

“This ugly fight does not have to happen. If Mr Turnbull was brave enough to grant his MPs a conscience vote, marriage equality could be legal in Australia by the end of the day,” she said.

 

Labor urges Mr Turnbull to show some leadership, stand up to his backbench, and answer the wishes and hopes of LGBTI Australians.

 

Let’s get this done.

 

MONDAY, 12 SEPTEMBER 2016