Will a marriage equality vote finally happen? 299



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After months of near-misses and false starts, the enormous issue of marriage equality could soon be returning to the political agenda. But how much longer will we have to wait?

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, it’s very much on the cards… but we may still have to wait one election.

Kelly O’Dwyer, Federal Member for Higgins, has promised that action on same sex marriage “shortly” after the next federal election, which is expected next year.

Current word suggests this action would come as a plebiscite – a public vote that the government would not necessarily be obliged to act upon.

This potential method has raised some controversy; a “yes” vote in favour of changes would not necessarily lead to these actual changes taking place.

However, the minister dismissed the idea that the Government would hold a vote, then refuse to act further.

“It would be absolutely bizarre for the Parliament to ignore the will of the people”, she told the ABC.

In a recent interview with The Weekend Australian, Malcolm Turnbull made the same promise.

“You would have to be living in some kind of paranoid echo chamber to spend $150 million for a standalone plebiscite and then ignore it, whichever way it went,” he said.

Turnbull has suggested the public would not receive a simple “yes or no” vote, but something more detailed. “It would have to be a question premised on a specific proposal”.

“That could be set out in a bill; basically the government would have to say ‘here is the model’, just as you would in a referendum, do you agree with it or not”.

“And if the people say we agree with it then you would have to ­implement it”.

This issue could be one of the first major hurdles for Turnbull, who The Weekend Australian suggests would prefer action before the next election, but has to tread carefully for fear of dividing the party again.

“I have inherited a position of having a plebiscite to take to the next election… But the mechanics of that have a deal of complexity”, he said.

“I know people have different views and I welcome those views. But this is going to be considered by the cabinet with great care and then by the party room”.

Is this the right course of action? Should action on same sex marriage wait until after the election? And just how big a priority should this be for our new government?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. My opinion! Shouldn’t be on the cards – Stupid to say the least. Hetrosexuals don’t often see the need to marry what real reason behind this farce? You marry under God’s law or the government’s. Marriage was set up to be between a man and a woman. Mind you often difficult to tell one from the other now days. Live together by all means – leave young kids alone they don’t need to have to get their heads around two mum’s or two dads. Mucking with their heads. Go with the flow to stay popular. Think with your heads. Fancy squeezing each other privates is gross (to me anyway ( but then I am old fashioned and intend to stay that way.

    6 REPLY
    • Ann Cleveland-Dunn, did you ever consider that many of would find the idea of squeezing your private parts gross? People sex life is none of our business

    • There are plenty of things hetro people do during sex which makes my hair curl and freaks me out, but it doesn’t affect my life. Neither will gays marrying

    • There are plenty of things hetro people do during sex which makes my hair curl and freaks me out, but it doesn’t affect my life. Neither will gays marrying

  2. This is ridiculous, it will cost millions to implement and they won’t have to abide by any decision Australian’s make. We elect these people to Govern and make decisions for us, this is just passing the buck and putting the issue off

    24 REPLY
    • It’s called running scared. I find the whole thing distasteful. Live with the ones you love but don’t make a farce out of marriage

    • Ann Cleveland-Dunn that is your opinion but many others have a different opinion to you, that does not make you right and them wrong or visa versa, this is an emotive issue that will affect the gay community far more than it will affect heterosexual Australia

    • I have a different opinion to Ann. If we are all equal we should all have the right to marry whoever we want to. It doesn’t make a farce out of my marriage, it makes no difference to it at all

    • I agree with you Sue, it is not going to affect non gay people in any way. People will not suddenly turn gay just to get married

    • Anne Cleveland-Dunn unless your Gay it will NEVER effect you, and in my opinion EVERYONE has the right to happiness no mater what their sexual preference.

    • Trish Daley. Whether or not I am gay. It will effect me. Because I know its wrong! Guess living in Australia makes me an ostridge?

    • You are not the only one living in this country Anne and your opinion is not the only one out there..get over yourself. There are children being born today who are gay and this decision will affect them long after you are dead and forgotten

    • Ann homophobic Cleveland-Dunn. People do not choose to be Gay. It’s in their genes. Haven’t you heard how they have found the Gay gene in people’s DNA? I didn’t ‘choose’ to be the way I am. I just found I was more attracted to men than women. There are masses of Gay couples, men and women, who have been living together for years and all they want to do is make their commitment legal by getting married. It has nothing to do with you if Gay people want this. What do you find so distastful? Are you happily married? I doubt it. I think you would find that the divorce rate will be a lot less than amongst the hetrosexuals. What right have you to spread your hatered of Gay couples who do not affect your life. Butt out and let the World keep turning.

    • Rex Erskine WHY, you may find majority don’t want it. If it is goes to a vote for public it is then FAIR.

    • That is why we elect them Dawn to make these decisions if they were good politicians they would know what their electorates want

    • Dawn Bruce They didn’t bother to ask us about getting involved in wars in the middle east, so what is so difficult about this?

    • John Routledge, I have been arguing about this for years. I have had people say to me ‘what if your son told you he was gay’. My answer was always that he was exactly the same person 2 seconds after he told me that he was 2 seconds before he told me and my love for him would be the same

    • Well Ann Cleveland-Dunn, I feel privileged to meet the first person who NEVER DOES ANYTHING WRONG, well done it must be very hard to live up to perfection everyday!

    • Dawn Bruce , over 70% of those polled are in favour of gay marriage. Better brace yourself, it will happen. All anti-gays are free to shoot themselves if they can’t live with it

    • you are without doubt the most ignorant and self opinionated woman I have the misfortune to run into on the net Ann Cleveland-Dunn. If there justice in this world future generations of your family will be born gay and have to suffer because of your bigotry

    • Libbi Elliot NO as Bill Shorten has said They must vote for it, IS that a conscience vote NO, , Julia was against it, too and nothing was done, forgotten about BUT Tony Abbott gets pilloried because he doesn’t believe either, , I don’t believe Polls, they only ring People under 45 , I don’t believe in it but will accept it IF they do not change the Marriage Act, & ALL Australians have a vote. Most of the Libs NOW have changed their minds as they think of their Jobs, as do Labor,

  3. I believe in equality for EVERYONE, if the Government is serious then just get on with it and stop BLACKMAILING people to vote for you.

    3 REPLY
    • Have to reply to this. Just for fun. Two tits together two dicks together – guess that’s equal. Sorry my sense of humour

    • What’s Blackmailing people to vote for you? Everybody walks into a voting booth with their free will to exercise their free vote. Nobody has any say over which party or if in fact you vote informal once you have accepted the voting papers which you complete and place in the voting box.. Utter rubbish.

  4. I know we have huge issues that some would say are more pressing, but that is not how the gay community see it. It is not going to make this country or my life any worse off by legalising same sex marriage. Why can’t the government just do it and move on. That would be the smart thing to do – in my opinion.

    20 REPLY
    • Fran I support marriage equality but I know a lot of people do not. I have often wondered what the reaction would be if it was put to a conscience vote and the nos won. Everyone assumes that the yes vote would win. But would it? Maybe this is why they are hedging because they are not sure of the numbers.

    • It won’t make an iota of difference to anyone’s lives but the gay community Debbie, so there shouldn’t be a reason anyone would stop it. Religion should not be a reason. We complain about people doing or not doing things in the name of religion now. I truly think that Australia just needs to do it and get on with it.

    • One loves their children – is this a reason to marry them? Only for sick in the head that sleep with their own children. This will be next. One will follow the other.
      When they are genetically modified to preform the reason fir marriage – to multiply – don’t start by saying some don’t. Reason mostly ‘ some can’t’ – not of their own velisha .

    • I almost feel sorry for you Anne Clevland Dunn, I married my wife because I lloved her and decided I could not live without, children came after that, before I met my wife I never even considered having children and if we were unable to have them I would still be with her and love her just as much

    • Well said David. Normally I would say we are all entitled to our own opinion but Ann Cleveland-Dunn your comments are so ridiculous you are clearly biased and one wonders what or who else you hate. This is. MY opinion of you.

    • I think it is the opposite Debbie Bryant I think the old far right conservative are terrified this will pass legislation

    • With the hard core Christian vote and the Muslim vote it may not have the outcome that the SSM people want. The PM says it won’t be just a “yes or no” vote, but something more detailed. “It would have to be a question premised on a specific proposal”. so I guess we will have to wait and see what they come up with.

    • Debbie, there are polls out there that say 60-70% of the public are already in favour, so what is the problem, it should be passed straight away.

    • Think about a conscience vote, who’s conscience will it be, that of the MP, not the voice of their constituents, so what would be the point. The MP will vote on their own ideals and not what their constituents want. So that will not change anything. A plebiscite is not needed as it is not a constitutional problem. We need the parties to just lock it into their policies and vote on it.

    • Ann Cleveland-Dunn
      It is only sick minds like yours that believe people would want to marry or sleep with their children. Just shows how your sick mund works.

    • Neil Sandall Do you believe the POLLS I don’t, Ireland supposedly was overwhelmingly in Support , voting NOT compulsory & not even half them voted. Many will agree IF it doesn’t change the Marriage Act, and they get a vote NOT politicians using their Jobs to vote. LABOR have to vote in favour . I belong to a very good F/B page and it is one of mainly People who believe MARRIAGE is between man & a woman Over 3000 people

    • Lee Horrocks I don’t know about that Lee. I have been surprised at the attitude of some of my childrens friends (mid 20s). Very, very against gay marriage. Both my children support marriage equality because we raised them to be tolerant. As I said before I have my doubts about the outcome of any vote be it in parliament or plebiscite. A lot of people our age that we know are also violently against it. I have been surprised at the level of homoplobia that still exists in our society.

    • And yet Debbie, I could say the opposite. For ten years I worked with over 250 people from the age of 17 to 70. The numbers stayed approximately the same but not always the same people. I could probably find maybe five o six people not “tolerant” as you put it. But really who are we to be tolerant? We should be just looking for equality for all. Do not gay people have the same rights as me who is not gay? If they don’t then why not. What makes my way more right than theirs? Please don’t tell me god. I am catholic but we can’t even prove there is a god, we can’t prove that if there is that God is a he or that God created Adam and Eve. Scientists would say we are wrong. Whose to say? But regardless we are all here and if there is a god then he made gay people too and I would have to believe he wants everyone to be equal, so just need to let anyone who wants to get married do so. It’s not hard, it’s also not up to us to say who someone else should love.

    • Fran. I don’t believe God made gay people, just as he didn’t make sick people. It’s just how people are born (if they are tru homosexuals ) and not just out to make a shock statement in front of people.

  5. I really don’t care if people get married or not, it’s their decision …… BUT…… it must be an equal law for those that do want to marry, whatever your orientation. A Plebacite is just a huge waste of money as the government does not have to abide by the result…….big waste of time and money.

  6. no it is wrong marriage is between a man and a women not two men or to women its just not healthy

    26 REPLY
    • rosaland battles where in earth did you get that load of garbage from that is the biggest load of crap i have ever heard

    • sorry rosalind battles not every thung on google is right and truthfull it was put there buy some one with their own opion my knowledge comes from years of study and what i have been taught people will put any thing on computers these days and if you listen to authorities you carnt believe every thing that read on google

    • As a mother of a gay child I’m bloody insulted. My daughter is very healthy, beautiful and loving. How dare you.

    • david i am not a bigot i just know what is truthful and what isnt and not every thing you read on google is the true fact but the some people will believe any thing they read on google as fact because they carnt think for them self and queation what they read and some people are fooled i to beliving every thing they read

    • Who says marriage is between a man and a woman. This is a man made law and man can change it. And as for the fact that it is written in the bible; one must remember that the bible is a work of fiction written by many different people.
      Read it and you will find that it even contradicts itself in beliefs. Plus sex betwern animals has been around since long before the bible. And yes, humans are simply another animal species.

    • What the heck has it to do with ‘healthy’? I know that once upon a time AIDS was thought to be the Gay Disease but it isn’t any more. I think the word you are looking for is the one Ann C-D used and that was ;distastful’. Lynn, you get on with your hum drum little life with those blinkers on and let us Gay people, who are not as big a minority as people would think, and let us get on with ours as married couples

    • The entire animal kingdom has same sex relationships happening. Maybe it was God’s or mother nature’s method of controlling over population, maybe not, but it is normal!
      Homosexual couples have the right to love and happiness, just the same as heterosexual couples.
      How about showing a little empathy. It won’t hurt you, just the same as gay marriage won’t hurt you.

    • Lorraine, where did you get the information that all the animal kingdom has same sex relations? I think you are so wrong.

    • for heavens sake let them have what they want, only call it a union , not marriage, that is between a man and woman and has been for centuries, Sick of hearing this subject, its becoming monotamous.

    • Jan, then you’d be wrong. Yes, Myra it is becoming monotonous, therefore we should simply put it in place and move on with life. If you are not gay, it won’t affect you. If you are gay, then you will have the same rights as everyone else. Simples.

    • lorraine where did you get your stupid imformation because i carnt find any were that say that animals have same sex because they dont only stupid humans do and it is wrong

    • Animals do have same sex relationships. Ask any dog breeder. It really doesn’t matter anyway, just legalise same sex marriage. It won’t kill your garden, the sky won’t fall in and it won’t turn you or your kids gay. It will give some equality to,people who,have been victimised for generations.

    • sorry sylvia rapley i have bred many differrnt breeds of dogs cat horses and other animals and i have never ever seen same sex relation ship in any of the animals u
      it just isnt natureal

  7. I am not gay but I am supportive of rights for all Australian’s, I think they are hoping we all get so sick of this issue that it will just go away. Politicians need to do their job instead of foisting it onto us

    3 REPLY
    • NO this is personal, not to Politicians ,they vote to keep their jobs AND this SHOULD have been done years ago, Labor were frightened it wouldn’t go over very well & NOW are forcing Libs into it.

    • Rubbish Dawn Bruce the Liberals are putting the issue off, because many of those old white men in the far right are bigoted

    • Why didn’t Julia do it, she refused , said Marriage was between a man & a woman . So that was OK. Rudd was against it, that OK too, But now it is all T Abbotts fault , IF Labor voters were so for it, they should have made the changes necessary. Must have been some bigots in Labor to not do it, had years , I don’t think bigot is the right term for believing in the Marriage Act, Surely we are allowed a personal opinion .It will be passed eventually as Shorten has demanded ALL have to vote for SSM,

  8. All the government has to do is change the Marriage Act
    John Howard changed it
    Malcolm Turnball can change it and save the millions it will cost for a plebiscite that is not binding

  9. Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve. Marriage is between a man and a woman.

    25 REPLY
    • How can a man have a “husband” or a women a “wife?” Marriage is for the procreation of the species. They can live together and have all the protection under contract law, but a marriage is between a man and a woman.

    • So how do you explain infertile people getting married? Under your rules that shouldn’t be allowed

    • Baf Kuka many people marry and never have children, my son is one, should he now get divorced because he has no children? The IVF clinics are doing a booming trade because people are unable to conceive unaided. Marriage should always be about love

    • because you made this statement..read over what you have previously said..and I answered that..you said How can a man have a “husband” or a women a “wife?” Marriage is for the procreation of the species.

    • Guess what … Most people (like me) aren’t against gay people at all, in fact far from it…like me many have gay friends and work mates, but are against legal gay marriage.

    • Who says? The bible? Oh wait I get it the devil made gay people? Idiot!!!! My daughter is amazing healthy wonderful person and I’m sick to death of people like you judging her. Leave her alone and get on with your own life!!!!!

    • Pressure groups are at it again attempting to shame the rest of us into seeing things their way and into submission.

    • If you have gay friends you should be happy for them to marry. Good friends would be

    • Gerry Gageldonk, Libbi is perfectly entitled to say how she feels, after all this is a public forum

    • Love it.
      I will stick by what I believe in. As with tge lady who refused to marry same sex and was imprisoned. That’s what will happen to those who stand up for their rights. Same sex marriage is a blatant effort to have same sex legally. I fear for people abused by this in court. It will not be wrong. If it is your child abused – do not ever say the judges got it wrong as one Sydney judge once said “You should make an effort to get on with your attacker” being raped will be a thing if the past.

    • Sue Todd in my opinion you are being ridiculous – getting married does not mean a man and woman should not get married. That tgey cannot have chikdren is sad and often not what they would like. It is not stated they should divorce. Merely that it is right for a man and woman to be married.

    • So Ann, you’ve decided to make this about sex have you. I’d like to remind you gays can already have sex if they want to.

    • I am getting fed up with stupid statement here. Come up with a ‘better idea’. B…. idea been around for centuries. Laying with same sex got you stoned; not the watery kind either. Forgetting aids?

    • I’m not advocating that at all … Just that marriage is between a man and a woman.

    • Anne come up with a reason ‘other than love’ why same sex requires to be married? Beat the tax man or get children’s heads twisted at school?

    • Bullshit! All you need is love love all you need is love. I love my dogs but sure as hell wouldn’t marry him. Nor for tgat matter would I sleep with him. So if marriage is only about love you have got it wrong. In India the family decides whom you marry. Often works very well. Have lovely respectable children. So there is your argument re marriage.

    • I just has a look at all your pic and Baf , Ann, and Gerry count on it no gay person would want anyone of you..you are all safe, I doubt the hetrosexual comminuty would have the bad taste to want you either 🙂

  10. Conscience vote in Parliament. Done.

    1 REPLY
    • NO Labor HAVE to vote yes, have been told to. Is that a conscience vote . Please explain WHY we have heard this since the day after the election, I know Julia didn’t agree BUT why wasn’t she made to accept it, like you all keep saying Tony Abbott should have. Could have been done years ago. I am not sure about who would win, Thousands upon thousands of Muslims don’t agree with it,

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