Senator Scott Ryan dismisses calls for marriage equality free vote

Scott Ryan 4

Scott Ryan, the Special Minister of State charged with delivering the government’s marriage plebiscite, has dismissed calls for a free vote on the issue.

Despite the legislation for a plebiscite facing a certain death once it reaches the senate, many of the Turnbull government’s MP’s are adamant that there is no way the issue will be address by parliament by any other means.

Senator Ryan has dismissed calls for a free vote, saying the Labor party were trying to distract people from Labor leader Bill Shorten’s inconsistent stance on a plebiscite.

Tanya Plibersek, the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, called on the Prime Minister to show leadership on the issue and embrace the idea of the issue being settled by parliament, highlighting that the PM had previously stated his personal preference for a parliamentary vote.

“He should be allowed as prime minister to do what his heart and his head tell him is the right thing,” she told SKY New’s Agenda program earlier today.

It has widely been acknowledged that Turnbull agreed to maintain the plebiscite policy as part of an agreement with conservative MPs within his party in order for him to topple his predecessor. The Liberal party’s coalition with The Nationals is also depended on the PM setting aside his personal beliefs.

Today Senator Ryan was adamant that the plebiscite would proceed to the senate for debate in early November and he would work with cross-benchers to gain their support.

The Senator highlighted that Labor leader Bill Shorten had once voiced support for a plebiscite. The Labor leader made the comments while speaking at an event for the Australian Christian Lobby.

Alongside the Labor party, the Nick Xenophon team and The Greens have indicated their strong opposition to the plan to hold a plebiscite.

“I remain an optimist, I think our case for a plebiscite is very strong,” Senator Ryan told told SKY News.

Earlier in the week several members of The Nationals publicly warned the Prime Minister that they would not tolerate a change in policy when it came to how the marriage equality issue was addressed.

Queensland MP George Christensen told The Bolt Report on Wednesday that the plebiscite was a key tenant of the coalition deal that forms the government.

“This is basically Labor denying the people denying the people a say on a fundamental matter, marriage. We should hold the blow torch to them for a while on this.” Christensen said.

Christensen said if the plebiscite legislation said if the legislation fails in the senate that government should wait until the Labor party “came to their senses:.

Another Nationals MP Andrew Broad has declared that he will walk away from the government if the Prime Minister changes the approach to marriage equality. George Christensen told Andrew Bolt that he too saw any change in policy as a deal breaker.

“If suddenly the policy becomes a free vote, my view – and its not just a view, it’s a reality – that that would be breaking one of the tenants of the Liberal-National coalition deal. That would be quite a serious matter and I don;t think that’s going to eventuate.” Christensen said.

This morning Liberal Mp Arthur Sinodinos said the government has no plans for addressing marriage equality beyond the plebiscite.

“There is no plan B,C,D, or E.” Senator Sinodinos told reporters this morning. The Liberal power-broker said it was important that the people of Australia encouraged the government to keep it’s election promises.

OIP Staff



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