Parliament votes on same-sex marriage plebiscite

The Senate has had the final say on the same-sex marriage plebiscite, and depending on where you sit on the

The Senate has had the final say on the same-sex marriage plebiscite, and depending on where you sit on the issue, the outcome doesn’t come as much of a surprise.

After 14 months of public and political debate, senators voted 33 to 29 in favour of rejecting the $170 million public vote on the issue overnight.

So, who voted for and who voted against?

Well, Liberal and Nationals senators (except openly gay Liberal senator Dean Smith who abstained), One Nation senators, Liberal Democrat Senator David Leyonhjelm and Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie voted in favour of the plebiscite.

The Greens and Labor were supported by the Nick Xenophon Team senators and Derryn Hinch to vote against the plebiscite.

A number of senators from both sides of the debate made speeches in support and against the plebiscite, with passionate arguments from both sides.

Those against the plebiscite had argued it would be harmful to the mental health of the LGBT community, while those in favour argued the quickest path to same-sex marriage was a public vote.

So, what did the senators have to say for themselves?

Well, the ABC is reporting Attorney-General George Brandis accused Labor senators of  “playing politics with gay people’s lives”.

“A vote against this bill is a vote against marriage equality,” he told parliament.

“And those who claim to believe in marriage equality, but nevertheless, for their own cynical, game-playing reasons, are determined to vote against it, should hang their heads in shame.”

On the other hand, Labor senator Louise Pratt called the plebiscite “an utterly demeaning act”.

“No child should have their family status a subject of public debate like this,” she said.

So, what’s next?

Well, marriage equality advocates say the road is now clear for a parliamentary vote on the issue.

Chair of Australian Marriage Equality Alex Greenwich is calling on same-sex marriage supporters to focus their efforts on calling for a vote in parliament. 

“We know that a majority of Australians, indeed a majority of parliamentarians, support this reform,” he told the ABC.

“We hope that we can all work together to finally get this through our Parliament.”

But that may not be likely.

While Malcolm Turnbull hasn’t made any announcement about what his party plans to do now, Nationals MP Andrew Broad said the government had no plans to revisit the issue during the next three years.

“If the Labor Party wants to block that (the plebiscite) then there will be not vote on same sex marriage for this term, and I anticipate that will probably be our policy heading into another term of Government,” he told the ABC.

Broad also cast doubt over any possibility of a conscience vote for government MPs.

“I don’t think that’s going to happen,” he said.

“The Coalition’s position was determined by the party room, it remains our position.”

What do you think? Are you glad the plebiscite was defeated? Should there be a vote on same-sex marriage in parliament?


  1. Tony Ryan  

    It is probably a forlorn hope, but maybe we will get some respite from this subject for a while now. We have been bombarded incessantly for far too long whilst, in my opinion, much more important issues are being neglected. Our
    country is wallowing along like a rudderless ship and the most important issue, as far as government and opposition parties are concerned is “same sex marriage”. Please get on with the things that matter and impact on the majority of the populace rather than pandering to the minority to the exclusion of everything else.

    • Fay  

      Thoroughly agree! Despite the noise by the minorities, nobody can be sure that the majority of Australians do support “same sex marriage”. The plebiscite was a way to determine the views of the people, and this obstructionist opposition did not want its views challenged, so voted against it, as it is doing with other issues. A union between a male and female is the natural one – a fact – and because human reproduction can only be accomplished by this union, it deserves special status – true marriage. Homosexuality is legal and same-sex couples have rights. There are far more important and urgent issues to address for Australians as a nation.

      • Guy Flavell  

        Extremely well written and very sensible comments, Fay.
        I was really hoping the plebiscite would be approved by the Senate to give all Australians the democratic right to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to SSM.
        I was pretty much certain that the overall population would say “yes” … but reckon
        it would have been very close one way or the other.
        Now I’m just awfully sad that my youngest son and his delightful partner have to wait at least another three years before this situation will be re-addressed … and just so
        unnecessary due to the ALP and those loathsome Greens ridiculous opposition.

  2. Ailsa  

    The plebiscite was always going to be a waste of time and money. Just approve it and get on with it. Making decisions is what we pay politicians to do

    • Cheryl Tallent  

      Cheryl Tallent It is against the law of nature to acknowledge marriage to the same sex is utter stupidity, man, woman, no third species is recognized unless you want to marry an ape?

      • Guy Flavell  

        You are also a homophobic BIGOT, dear Cheryl !!!

    • Guy Flavell  

      You are a homophobic BIGOT my friend !!!!

  3. Pamela  

    They are scared of a plebiscite because it will show that the majority of Australians do not want the definition of marriage [i.e. the union of one man and one woman] changed or demeaned by including unnatural same-sex unions. LGBTIQPDs do already have the options of registered unions and the same legal safeguards that marriage [actual or de-facto] gives heterosexuals. Part of the situation is a green/leftie attack against Christian traditions.

  4. Guy Flavell  

    I’m just so disappointed that this legislation was defeated in the Senate. I was sure that the Australian people would have given the ‘green light’ to SSM in February … perhaps by a slim margin even so. A vote by parliamentarians really couldn’t reflect the overall opinions of all Australians. For example, my local Federal MP has contrary opinions to mine and possibly even the majority of his constituents. Why should he be allowed to vote against SSM in
    opposition to our feelings on this important matter?
    Now, my youngest son and his delightful partner have to wait another three years at least for this situation to be re-addressed … very sad and totally unnecessary.

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