The first openly gay Liberal senator Dean Smith states that he won’t vote for the marriage plebiscite.
Additionally, Mr Smith described the idea of a plebiscite to Fairfax Media as ‘abhorrent’. The gay Liberal senator also said he would cross the floor or abstain from voting for the legislation enabling the public vote.
“As a lifelong parliamentary and constitutional conservative, I cannot countenance a proposition that threatens to undermine the democratic compact that has seen Australia emerge as one of the most stable parliamentary democracies in the world.”
“I have never heard a candidate standing for election say they want to represent their community – except on issues where it’s all too difficult. In which case, they will contract out their responsibilities as a legislator.
“Yet, this is effectively what the plebiscite proposal is. A willing admission by some that an institution which has served the nation well for 115 years is suddenly, on one issue alone, not up to the job.”
Despite doubts about the marriage plebiscite, PM Malcolm Turnbull will on Wednesday introduce a bill to parliament. If passed, it would then establish a plebiscite for February 11 next year. The plebiscite will ask one simple question.
“Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”
$15 million public funding for marriage plebiscite adverts
The government will split $15 million in public funding between the Yes and”No campaigns for advertising.
However, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten will recommend that Labor MPs do not back the plebiscite on marriage equality. Consequently, the legislation enabling the vote will not make it through the Senate, the ABC and Fairfax Media report.
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