Prime Minister still has hope a plebiscite will be possible

Malcolm Turnbull

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is still hopeful that a plebiscite on the issue of marriage equality will still be possible despite growing signs that opposition will block the enabling legislation.

Appearing on the ABC program ‘Insiders’ earlier today the Prime Minister said he still believed that that the Labor party would support the initiative and that the pathway for marriage equality was through a national vote.

“Personally, I have no doubt the plebiscite will be carried and the same-sex marriage legislation will then sail through the Parliament.” Turnbull said.

Speculation that the plebiscite would not proceed intensified this week after The Greens categorically ruled out giving any support to the proposal and polls showed that while marriage equality was supported by an overwhelming majority of Australians, most also preferred parliament to enact the required laws.

Turnbull told host Barrie Cassidy that if the Labor party did not support the plebiscite proposal they were effectively delaying marriage equality in Australia.

“The Labor party must want to delay same sex marriage for a very long time.” Turbull said. The PM said that while they’re were many arguments against the plebiscite the worst argument is the suggestion that it may not deliver a positive result to the “yes’ campaign.

Senior government Minister Christopher Pyne has described the Labor party as “villains” for suggesting that they may not support the plebiscite legislation.

Appearing on SKY News Pyne said the Labor party was insulting the gay community.

“Labor is basically thumbing their nose at gay couples having the same status as different sex couples” Pyne said.

Labor Leader Bill SHorten however is poised to formally announce that his party will not offer support to the government’s proposal.

“I’m worried Malcolm Turnbull will just stuff it up,’’ Mr Shorten said earlier today.

“There’s every chance it’ll end up costing much more than $160 million, which is a complete and total waste of money when Parliament should be doing its job.

The Labor leader said Turnbull had a long history of ‘stuffing things up’ and the marriage equality movement could be set back significantly if the plebiscite pathway was followed.

“He stuffed up the republic referendum, he stuffed up the NBN and he stuffed up Senate reforms when he promised to fix it.

“Malcolm Turnbull doesn’t even support a plebiscite.

“He’s only doing it because he is too weak to stand up to the radicals in his own party.

Shorten said the best way for marriage equality to be delivered was via an free vote in parliament.

“The parliament should do its job and deal with a marriage equality bill, with all parties afforded a free vote.”

Coalition MP George Christensen, who is opposed to gay, lesbian and transgender couples being able to wed has told reporters that he doesn’t mind if the plebiscite does not proceed. The Queensland MP said without the plebiscite there would be no change to the nation’s marriage laws.

OIP Staff


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