“What on earth are we doing?” SA’s Premier on marriage equality delays

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South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill has suggested the Coalition could break the stalemate over the marriage plebiscite by just dropping the plan and moving on to a free vote in parliament.

Appearing on the ABC program Q&A last night Weatherill said the government should simply move to passing marriage equality legislation through parliament.

Audience member David Hunter asked the panel if it would be better to embrace the plebiscite rather than push the issue back for several years. Jay Weatherill said the government had other options.

“Well, there’s another simple solution. The Federal Parliament will get on with the business of passing the same-sex marriage legislation.” the South Australian Premier said.

Weatherill told host Tony Jones that it was completely possible for the coalition to adjust course despite their concern that it would be breaking an election commitment.

“Well, it’s down to the people in this room, it’s down to the people in the broader community to make their voices heard about this issue. And, look, this is simply a question of respect. It’s a pretty fundamental question of respect. People that choose to celebrate their love by asking for the state to permit them to marry in the same way as any other couple would want that right, and it seems to be a very simple thing to ask for.

“There’s a lot of hate in the world, people want to celebrate their love and we want to deprive them of that. I mean, what on earth are we doing?”

The Premiers comments received a huge round of applause from the Q&A live audience.

The marriage equality question was the last discussion of the night. Head to 58:11 to hear what everyone had to say.


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