Australia Parliament Refuses to Vote on Same-Sex Marriage

09 August, 2017, 00:06 | Author: Ora Austin
  • The death of Tori Johnson at the end of Sydney's Lindt cafe siege in 2014 moved Senator Smith

Asked if it would boycott the postal plebiscite, co-chair of Australian Marriage Equality Alex Greenwich said the organisation was "not ruling anything in or out".

"Advice we received from [Ron Merkel QC] last week indicated the government can not act without specific legislation and a specific budgetary appropriation", said just.equal spokesperson Rodney Croome in a statement.

Marriage equality would also cast doubt on whether religious schools could teach children that marriage was exclusively between a man and a woman, Mr Shelton said.

Turnbull also fended off criticism regarding the plebiscite method which is expected to cost more than 120 million Australian dollars (95 million USA dollars) to run.

Malcolm Turnbull intends to tip $122 million into a voluntary postal vote on same-sex marriage run by the Australian Bureau of Statistics if a fresh plebiscite push fails.

The Turnbull government has consistently resisted calls to introduce marriage equality-enabling legislation in parliament despite apparent support from a majority of MPs, as well as openly LGBTQ lawmakers and an overwhelming majority of the public.

He said the prime minister would then, as promised, bring a conscience vote to parliament before the final sitting day of December 7.

Parliament's upper house, the Senate, last November rebuffed plans for a national plebiscite involving 15 million people, with the Labor opposition, Greens and cross-bench MPs arguing it would be expensive and create division.

"Strong leaders carry out their promises".

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If the Senate again blocks the plebiscite, the government intends to hold a voluntary postal plebiscite by November 15.

The leader of the Labor opposition party, Mr Bill Shorten, who supports same-sex marriage, said that holding a plebiscite was "ridiculous".

"We think this is a harmful debate", he said.

Senator Nick Xenophon, whose minor party opposed the plebiscite in the November vote, said gay marriage would become an election issue if the plebiscite was blocked by the senate or the courts.

"The Bill not only circumvents the government pledge for a plebiscite on the issue, it is manifestly deficient in its attempt to protect civil and religious freedoms for all Australians", he said.

If most Australians want gay marriage, the Parliament would vote on legislation before the last two-week session of Parliament of the year ends on December 7. "Every Australian on the electoral roll will get a ballot paper as long as they are on the electoral roll and they will fill that in and have their say and their vote will be counted", Turnbull told the press.

Same-sex couples can engage in contracts of civil union and recognition of their relationship in most australian states, but these unions are not recognized at the federal level.

The result would not be legally binding and some lawmakers have already declared it would not sway their vote on gay marriage legislation.

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