The leader of the opposition has made an impassioned plea in parliament for Australians to vote “yes” when it comes time to vote in the marriage equality plebiscite.
Labor Leader Bill Shorten slammed the “ridiculous waste of time and taxpayer money” saying that the potential $122 million spend could be better used on dialysis machines, teachers, housing or training.
“I hold you responsible for every hurtful bit of filth that this debate will unleash,” he told Malcolm Turnbull in the fiery speech.
“We say to young Australians who are gay, we are voting in this survey because of you, not because we respect the process, but because the Labor Party will not let gay Australians and young gay people cope with this survey, this evaluation of their relationships, on their own.
“Every hateful ideological hobby horse will be saddled up for this vote and it is clear who is responsible.”
He also pointed out that as normal electoral rules would not apply in the postal vote, there would be “no protection against ballot fraud, electoral bribery, intimidation, interfering with the electoral roll, publishing misleading and deceptive material”.
He shared a video of the speech via his Facebook page, encouraging others to share in support of LGBTI Australians.
“I know LGBTI Australians are frustrated, they’re angry, and they’re bewildered that it has come to this,” he wrote.
“But they are not alone.
“Let’s all join the movement for marriage equality.”
It comes after former Prime Minister Tony Abbott called on Australians to vote “no” in the plebiscite.
“If you don’t like same-sex marriage vote ‘no’, if you’re worried about religious freedom and freedom of speech vote ‘no’, if you don’t like political correctness vote ‘no’,” Abbott said.