What’s wrong with a plebiscite on same-sex marriage?

Senator Penny Wong has used the annual Lionel Murphy Memorial Lecture to open up about the abuse she receives as

Senator Penny Wong has used the annual Lionel Murphy Memorial Lecture to open up about the abuse she receives as a gay woman and says plans to hold a plebiscite will only result in a wave of hate towards lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, intersex and queer people.

The Labor frontbencher says no heterosexual politician could possibly grasp the hatred gay and lesbian Australians will be confronted with if the plebiscite on same-sex marriage goes ahead, and said prime minister Malcolm Turnbull’s persistence that the vote would be respectful was “the hollowest of hollow words”.

“A plebiscite designed to deny me and many other Australians a marriage certificate will instead license a hate speech to those who need little encouragement,” Wong said.

“I oppose a plebiscite because I do not want my relationship, my family, to be the subject of inquiry, of censure, of condemnation, by others. And I don’t want other relationships, other families, to be targeted either.”

But Federal treasurer Scott Morrison has raised the issue that those in favour of traditional marriage are also subject to hatred and bigotry for their views.

“I understand the concern that Penny is raising, I know if from personal experience having been exposed to that hatred and bigotry for the views I’ve taken from others who have a different view to me,” Morrison said.

“Frankly, people of very strong religious views have been subject to quite dreadful hate speed and bigotry as well, it’s not confined to one side of the debate.”

There have been 16 previous attempts to amend the Marriage Act so as to legalise same-sex marriage, all of which have been unsuccessful.

If we are all entitled to our views in this country, and everyone is entitled to respect, you would think then that having a plebiscite where all voting Australians can have their say on the issue would be a good thing.

Prime minister Turnbull has indicated the plebiscite will be used to gauge public feedback on what people think about those in same-sex relationships being afforded the same rights as those in heterosexual relationships.

What are your thoughts on having a national plebiscite for same-sex marriage in Australia? Are you concerned it will be used to condemn those who have a difference of opinion?

  1. Silva Rigutti  

    Since the changes are a “fait accompli” a Plebiscite is a total waste of money that could be used better elsewher.

    • Colin  

      So what is this “fait accompli” Silva?

      • Georgy  

        Because the “Liberal” party (a misnomer if ever there was one) have stated that they do not have to act on the results if they are not what the right wingers in the party agree with…… so total waste of money, time, and unnecessary trauma for a lot of people. Just do what most other Countries have done or are doing….. just change the bloody law. SIMPLE.

    • Andrea Robin Hunt  

      A plebiscite is NOT binding for the government to act on – they can still weasel their way out of acting on the result, so yes it is a waste of money & time. A referendum however is binding so figure out why Tony Abbott said he would do the plebiscite instead & now Turnbull says he will do what Tony Abbott promised. We all know the majority would win & agree to marriage equality

    • [email protected]  

      I agree, it’s a waste of money, big money which could be spent on much more important things like child abuse, domestic violence!!
      It’s not going to change the constitution. -apparently , and I’m assuming correct me if I’m wrong but they would have the same rights as any other couple under the family law act should they separate ??

  2. Annette Maidens  

    Don’t we elect politicians to make these difficult decisions for us?

  3. Kenneth  

    As an Pensioner, I cannot for the life of me accept that is necessary to have a PUBLIC VOTE ON THIS.
    We all know these poor people are born this way (I have 3 gays in my family) and why shouldn’t they have the chance to be happy. all recipients of Centrelink payments know that they are accepted already, Why the spend Millions on A vote.
    Just pass it in Parliament as it should be we vote these people in to represent us.

  4. Anthea  

    Why can’t the vote be held on the same date as Federal Election?

    What a complete waste of money, as a separate vote.

    Obviously the pollies’ too scared to make a decision on our behalf, in case it’s the wrong one, according to the people of this Country.
    They get paid handsomely, & then plenty in their Retirement, to make this type of decision.

    Typical gutless wonders are our pollies’, unfortunately!

  5. Joan  

    All the research shows that the majority of Australians are in favour of marriage equality. No need for a plebiscite. I can think of dozens of other more important issues on which I would have liked to express an opinion.

  6. Barb  

    Every poll taken shows that the majority are in favour of same sex marriage. Putting so much money into an unnecessary plebiscite when we know what the outcome will be is just a huge waste, particularly under the current economic climate. We pay politicians to carry out our wishes. Just do it! No, the conservatives won’t allow it. What a waste.

    • Ian Foster  

      Really Barb?
      Please quote to polls which support what you claim.


  7. What is wrong with our governments? Why can’t individuals have the choice of who they have a relationship with or who they marry? The Government just needs to amend the Marriage Act and let people live their life so they can have a happy one. Life is too short.

  8. The Watcher  

    It was Abbotts sop to the Far right and Catholic Pell….it is designed to allow division, vitriol and hatred to be fostered against the LGBT community during the campaign so that “Statesman” Tony can call it off “due the divisions it” (the plebiscite)was causing in the community”. The dinosaurs get fed, no equality. Everybody except 75% of Australia happy, but who cares about them? There is NO NEED for this waste of time and effort.
    Being Gay is not a choice, being religious is. Ineqaulity is not an option in the 21st Century.

  9. Ron  

    I am against homosexual marriage. This is my personal view. I therefore want a vote on the issue if it is to become a reality. Marriage is for a man and a woman. If homosexuals want some sort of binding commitment, then call it something else, not marriage.

    • Good on you Ron, I was also bought up as normal and these people have made the choice to be different, they make my skin crawl just thinking about it but that is their right to choose to be queer, they are written in the Bible so they should know what is coming for them. Marriage is for families to make a community grow, that needs a male and a female to achieve this. Another passage in the Bible says to look to the beasts (animals) and they will show you, maybe they should go to a zoo and watch for a while, tell the kids to count how many male lions, or any other male beast they can see having sex together, how can any parent teach their kids the facts of life with this rubbish going on. Nobody is born that way, it is a fact that many deny, you have to choose to be gay. Look back in history to see how far we have come to be totally against every sane thing that a human being can. Animals have more sense than humans that is for sure and nobody is going to learn any morals in the 21st century. What a sad place this world is, one day you will all wake up and find it is too late.

      • Margaret Wilkins  

        John Kilby…sad for you! Families? Children need a mum and dad??
        With divorce statistics around 4 out of 5 marriages ending in divorce and children caught in the middle, i can assure you…families are no longer what you seem to think they are.
        I wonder if you’ve ever known a gay family or couple. I guess not, otherwise you might realise they are no different to you and your family although probably not so judgemental!

        • Colours  

          Well said Margaret. If marriage is only for the purpose of having children, then us over sixties should not be allowed to get married, and perhaps should all get divorced.

  10. Margaret Wilkins  

    We don’t want or need a plebiscite! The majority of Australians support marriage equality.
    An incredible waste of money. Money that could be spent on health and education and the poor and homeless.
    It’s a pity the politicians are too gutless to just do it. The religions of the politicians should have absolutely nothing to do with this! They are elected to represent the people…not themselves and their religion.
    By the way..I’m not gay. Im a 70 year old grandmother who has been married almost 50 years! Just change the marriage act.

    • Antony Lowery  

      Wow how the dickens do you know the majority of Aussies support Marriage Equality , what Crap You lot don’t want a vote on it because it’s more likely the opposite ,the majority don’t want Gay Les Freak Marriage .

      • The watcher  

        You sad person. Google poll results on marriage equality. Then read the bible passage about false witness you fekknuckle. No I am not gay, just dont like inequality or igorance masquerading as religiosity.

  11. Jonathan  

    MARRIAGE is between one man & one woman.
    It’s for the procreation of the human race.

    Two men can’t create a baby.
    Two women can’t create a baby.

    Homosexuals’ are unnatural beings, & an abomination.

    As this Country is still a Christian one, & hasn’t YET been overtaken by muzzies’, the vote will be a resounding ‘NO’!

    If homosexuals’ want to be together, call it anything BUT marriage, because it certainly is NOT!

    • Karen Bowden  

      I absolutely agree…marriage is between a man and a woman!
      Why does it need to be changed?
      Society recognises that couples who have a long term relationship have rights and are recognised as having the benefit that any other de facto couple has.
      Some people have chosen to be married, which requires one male and one female. Whoever does not meet this agenda, they are the people who are trying to change things. Marriage has always been one man and one woman. Nothing is changed regarding the law and legality of rights in a couple situation, whether de facto or homosexual they have legal rights.
      I pose this Question – do these couples just want to steal the title of marriage OR do they wish to destroy the sanctity of marriage?

      • Lee  

        I absolutely agree
        I can’t believe this is even being considered. What have we become?

    • I am with you all the way Jonathan, this world is likened to Sodom and Gomorra so we will let God deal with it as He has promised all His faithful that He will.

      • Jonathan  

        John, yes, definitely equateable to Sodom & Gomorrah.

        I wouldn’t like to be in the ‘shoes’ of any type of wrong-doer on Judgement Day, that’s for sure!

        There’s many a human in for a shock, if they think what they do is right!

    • Karin  

      Call it what it is..homosexuality. Marriage is between a MAN and a WOMAN..CHanging its name does not make it right..

  12. Susan Bell  

    I’m sorry Jonathan the vote will not be a resounding NO it will be YES as 73% of the population want these changes, they care about family members and friends, they want every one to be loved and to love. Also we are not a Christian country we, thankfully do not have a state religion. And no, homosexuals are not abominations, they are just people, just like you and me, they are just people who happen to be on one part of the sexual continuum, this is the way of nature. Really you used the word “muzzies” this shows how uneducated, racist and ignorant you are.

    • Shelley  

      Methinks Jonathon that your view is the minority, thankfully! If your attitude is Christian then I wonder about your idea of Christianity. Lacking in understanding, tolerance and compassion, and I would want no part of it thanks!!

      • Jonathan  

        Where did I mention I was a Christian?
        I didn’t!

        Maybe YOU should revisit English Comprehension #101!

        If you wish to denigrate me, at least spell my name correctly! Fool!

        And I didn’t ask you to be ‘part’ of anything!

    • Jonathan  

      According to the last Census, we ARE a Christian country!
      This may change come August, 2016.

      A homosexual is NOT like me, in ANY way, thank you very much!

      To me, the word ‘muzzies’ is colloquial, & much nicer to use than some other possible words. Would you prefer I used those?

      I’d be more educated, & less ignorant than you, easily, as your Grammar is atrocious, & your ‘facts’ are just plain wrong!

      Didn’t you bother reading what you typed before you posted it?
      Or maybe you’re too ‘hot headed’, & don’t think.

      • From what I have observed, the Muslim faith is even more against same – sex marriage than most other religions. There is a rule on this site, Jonathon, about bullying and name calling, hopefully Admin is on top of it.

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