Marriage equality supporters welcome the end of the plebiscite

Alex Greenwich

Yesterday the government’s proposed plan for marriage equality was defeated in the Upper House, with 33 votes against the bill and 29 in favour.

High profile proponents for marriage equality without a plebiscite, Australian Marriage Equality & Australians For Equality have welcomed the end of the public vote.

“The majority of Australians and parliamentarians back marriage equality and believe this issue can be resolved by a vote in this parliament, allowing every Australian to marry the person they love,” AME co-chair Alex Greenwich said (pictured).

“Now that the plebiscite legislation is dead, we again call on marriage equality supporters across all political parties to work together to find a pathway. Marriage equality is a straightforward reform that will not cost anything or take anything from anyone but will offer a profound difference to the status and dignity of many.”

Co-chair of Australian For Equality, Anna Brown, echoed the sentiments of Mr Greenwich and AME, calling for a fair pathway to achieve equal marriage rights.

“Our campaign will continue to build on the momentum and energy across the nation for marriage equality, bringing supporters together, holding community events and forums,” Brown said.

“The campaign will continue to remind our MPs that fairness and equality are at the heart of Australian society. Marriage is about the commitment shared between two people who love each other and want a secure future. This is good for our community and our nation.”

Greens senator and LGBTIQ+ spokesperson Janet Rice, whose party was vocally opposed to the public vote on marriage equality, has called the demise of the plebiscite a win for common sense and justice.

“[Yesterday]¬†the plebiscite on marriage equality was defeated in the Senate, and tonight we moved forward towards equality,” Senator Rice said.

“The Greens are proud to have stood with lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex and queer communities against this plebiscite and we recognise, share and draw strength from the determination of this community to achieve the equality everyone deserves.”

Will Marriage Equality have to wait until 2019?

The response from the government has been mixed, many government MPs have declared discussion on marriage equality is now over for the current term of parliament, while others have declared the plebiscite remains an option.

Special Minister of State Scott Ryan told SKY News this morning that he was still opening to discussing the possibility of a plebiscite with members of the cross-bench.

The Greens, the Nick Xenophon Team and Senator Derryn Hinch voted against the legislation, while Jacqui Lambie and the One Nation party voted in support.

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce gave a short answer to reporters this morning saying that discussion on the issue of marriage equality was now over, and it was time for the government to move on to other matters.

Tim Wilson, the member for Goldstein, also appeared to suggest that the issue would not be revisited by the Turnbull government during the current parliamentary term when he appeared on SKY News this morning.

Lambie and One Nation call for Super-Plebiscites

The idea of having a plebiscite to address the issue of marriage equality may live on even though it was voted down in the senate yesterday.

This morning both Jacquie Lambie and One Nation’s Pauline Hanson have floated the idea of a super-plebiscite to address a range of issues at the next election.

Speaking to ABC radio Jacqui Lambie said the government should address marriage equality, indigenous constitutional recognition, and euthanasia at the same time

“We’re talking now about putting a bill through so we have dates and we have times, so we can get this bill and take the vote at the next election¬†and also looking at reconciliation and euthanasia for those that are terminally ill,”

During yesterdays debate several politicians described the government’s decision to hold a plebiscite as an abrogation of parliament’s responsibilities, Senator Lambie told ABC radio that we should have more plebiscites and referendums to address important issues.

OIP Staff

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