AUSTRALIA: Prime Minister Tony Abbott Threatens To Fire Party Leaders Who Vote For Same-Sex Marriage

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott today threatened to fire party leaders who “break ranks” and vote for same-sex marriage.

Nine News reports: The Prime Minister was responding to a potential vote on the legalisation of same-sex marriage, if MP Warren Entsch were to successfully introduce a cross-party bill to parliament this morning. “It is … the standard position of our party that if a frontbencher cannot support the party’s policy, that person has to leave the frontbench,” Mr Abbott told ABC radio this morning. Last night the Coalition has ruled out whether to have a conscience vote regarding the legalisation of same-sex marriage. Following a meeting lasting almost six hours, the Coalition party room, made up of Liberal and National MPs, voted 66 to 33 against having a free vote on marriage equality. “Obviously our backbenchers are entitled to vote in the end, whichever way they want,” said Mr Abbott. “I would be disappointed if they went against the party position but nevertheless we have always accepted that in the end all votes in our party room for backbenchers at least are conscience votes.” Mr Abbott said he accepts people may be disappointed over the Coalition’s decision to reject a free vote on same-sex marriage but says the government has to keep faith with the public.

Abbott has promised a public referendum on marriage should his coalition be reelected. The Associated Press reports:

Abbott extended an olive branch to marriage equality advocates, offering to allow the public to vote on gay marriage in a plebiscite if his government retains power at the next election. Currently the governing coalition trails the opposition Labor Party in opinion polls. “The only way to successfully and satisfactorily settle this matter, given that it is so personal and given that so many people have strong feelings on either side of this — the only way to settle it with the least rancor, if you like, is to ask the people to make a choice,” Abbott told reporters. “That means that going into the next election, you’ll have the Labor Party which wants it to go to a Parliamentary vote and you’ve got the coalition that wants it to go to a people’s vote,” he said. Abbott has changed his position since May when he ruled out an Australian popular vote after an Irish referendum in which 62 percent of voters called for their constitution to be changed to allow same-sex marriage.

  • Marc

    Just elect us again! We promise we can change! We won’t hit you again! You just make us so mad some times.

    • Rebecca Gardner

      Oh that brings back some scary memories of a very bad relationship.

      “Babygirl don’t cry. Why should I be upset about hitting you? Don’t you know there are Men, then dogs, then livestock, then women.”


      • Marc

        = I’m very glad you got out of that relationship, Rebecca. I always enjoy reading your comments and insights. Any man or woman who who would want to silence you is a fool

        • Rebecca Gardner

          Thanks. I did finally get out thanks to neighbors finally calling the police and him getting arrested. YAY!

          Life is pretty awesome now!

          • Ian

            Glad to hear it. Domestic violence is no joke. I live in an apartment complex with fairly thin walls. Our upstairs neighbors, whom I’ve never seen or met, I could hear late at night shouting and throwing things. Once is an isolated incident and people do fight. Twice PLUS crying and screaming — I called the fucking cops and let them sort it out. I’ve experienced DV and know how paralysing it can be, I’ve got zero tolerance for it as a full-grown adult manz.

    • Nexus1

      The Australian economy is in decline and has been for about 3 years and their dollar is at a shocking low and keeps falling, his party will get kicked out because of the economy not SSM. He can ‘attempt’ to pander on this issue, but even those apposed to SSM will still vote his party out because of the economy. He is immensely unpopular in Oz and has become an embarrassment in the last year, he will be gone soon thankfully. Shorten has developed a good profile for himself and positioned himself nicely to be the next PM and once he’s in power and Abbot is out all of this stalling on marriage will end. I predict Abbott will not even be the Liberal Party’s leader in the next Parliament. Threatening his MP’s like this will make some of those that supported him a couple of months ago in the confidence vote rethink their position. The best thing that the Liberals can do is to jettison Abbott and to get the Marriage issue over and done with. It will not go away and the only way to defuse the issue is to make SSM legal in Australia. I really hope this is all resolved in a years time, because it’s been long overdue for Aussies to have full Equality.

  • JT
    • Dramphooey

      American memes usually make some effort to be witty (and often fail). I really get a kick out of these angry “he’s scum” memes.

      • JT

        Aussies go for it. This guy does seem very deserving of it.

    • Of course the person in the second picture is not the Mad Monk but Kevin Rudd. Who is certainly a Christian but neither scum nor a fuckhead.

  • AtticusP

    I think that’s Tony Perkins on the right…

    • StraightGrandmother

      I’m terrible, but when I look at that picture I think, “Yum-Yum, look at that butt, HAM!”

  • The Professor

    The 1920s called. They want their Prime Minister back.

    • bambinoitaliano

      You mean they want their criminal back.

  • Sam_Handwich
  • Ray Taylor

    OT But Joe fixed the feed for phones. I can actually read it now without adjusting anything. Thanks Joe

    • Scott Carpenter

      Yeah, my android phone now likes joemygod – it’s a refreshing change.

  • Michael Rush

    Can he do that ?

    • Reality.Bites

      Do what? Remove people from the front bench/cabinet? Absolutely. Hold a consultative referendum? Yes. Hold a binding referendum? No.

      • Michael Rush

        Remove people from the front bench/cabinet , I wouldn’t think the system would hold together if this was done / threatened . It’s like there’s no real use for the people to be there . Of course I thought someone would stop Bush from going to war , like we had some system of balances in place to prevent that .

        • Reality.Bites

          He’s the one who puts them there. It’s the absolute right of the PM to appoint and remove members of cabinet for any reason. And voting against government policy is an unquestioned reason for being removed from cabinet. In Canada one cabinet minister was removed because he wouldn’t vote in favour of marriage equality.

          • Prion

            Thanks for the info. I thought front and back benchers were sexual positions!

  • JT
  • SockMikey

    Tony Abbott’s sister calls on PM to allow plebiscite on same-sex marriage

    Video of Tony Abbott’s sister (at 2:05)

    Via “Invite Tony website”, Tony Abbott is being bombarded with same-sex wedding invites

  • rextrek1

    well I know for sure – Australia will NOT see my Tourism dollars til they have EQUALITY – period!

  • canoebum

    With the USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand and much of Europe all with marriage equality, I think most Australians are feeling out of step. I doubt this reprobate will have another term as Prime Minister. He seems to be a nasty bastard.

    • Gene

      He places a lot of value on the connectedness of Australia with the other Commonwealth Realms (NZ, Australia, and of course, the UK itself) but seems startled that they have changed and wont follow.
      He places a lot of value on the Monarchy, but, the monarch has quietly let it be known she supports marriage equality.
      He places a lot of value on the opinions of the populace, but, wont let even them vote on it (human rights should never be voted on in any case) until AFTER he is potentially re elected (and I bet he would wiggle out of it somehow if he was.
      So many reasons to do the right thing, based on what he supposedly values aside from just the fact its the right thing…but, he wont.

      Long and Short, he is just a UBER CATHOLIC bigot. pure and simple. His sister should walk up to him one last time, spit in his face, and wear a red dress to his funeral.

      • It’s quite sad when one lets religious ideology alone stand in the way of so many other things that are pointing in the right direction. as you said so many other things he values are pointing in the right direction but he is too caught up in blind allegiance to religious ideology that he refuses to budge.

        • Ninja0980

          Indeed, and he doesn’t care who is hurt, including his own sister.

        • StraightGrandmother

          Well look at Catholic John Boehner, inviting the Pope to speak to a joint session of Congress. Our Catholics are no worse than Australian Catholics.

          • Eebadee-eebadee-thatsallfolks

            SGM, I gotta disagree with you on this one. Inviting someone to speak to a joint session is a trifle compared to threatening to fire MPs if they don’t vote the way he wants.

          • GayEGO

            Abbott is acting more like a dictator, I thought Australia is more like a democracy.

      • Gene

        I forgot he is MASSIVELY Pro Business, and the Australian Business community has made its pro quality voice known also (with a few minor exceptions)…..yet another reason he SHOULD be pro equality, but, his dogma wont let him

        • People4Humanity
          • StraightGrandmother

            Hey that is pretty cool, thanks

          • People4Humanity

            I have to wonder who her milliner is?

          • cheakamus

            The queen has been head of state almost all my life. She was crowned in 1953, the year I moved from England to Canada, aged 3. I greatly admire her, mainly for her old-fashioned values of steadfastness, duty, kindness and moderation. However, I would not be sorry to see her be the last of her line, especially given the inevitable succession of one of her unfortunate family members.

          • Ian

            I blame the father. Phillip’s family still walk around Greece like they fucking own the place.

          • Eebadee-eebadee-thatsallfolks

            If they have a lot of shares in Deutschebank, then they actually do own the place now.

      • People4Humanity

        “When the Queen signed the Royal Assent for the equal marriages act, allowing gay people to marry for the first time, she put it down and said ‘Well, who’d have thought 62 years ago when I came to the throne, I’d be signing something like this? Isn’t it wonderful?'”

        — British comedian and actor Stephen Fry, speaking on The Jonathan Ross Show about Queen Elizabeth II and her alleged remarks upon granting her Royal Assent to marriage equality in England and Wales in July 2013. (Her Majesty also assented to Scotland’s marriage equality bill in March 2014.) The Queen maintains public neutrality on political matters, so it is extremely unlikely that the palace will confirm or deny Fry’s claims.

      • Reality.Bites

        In what way do you feel the monarch has made that known? It’s quite improper for her to take a position on a political issue.

        • Gene

          People for humanity referenced it perfectly above. It cannot (nor should it, she has to be officially neutral) be officially confirmed, but Fry and others have confirmed this was said, and she says NOTHING like that without weighing that it WILL get out and known.

        • See People 4 Humanity’s post above. HMQ made those remarks after she signed ME into law in England and Wales on television. (A very rare act; normally when she assents to a Bill she signs it in her private office.) Sure, she didn’t make them on camera, but she evidently was content for them to be leaked.

      • William

        Tony needs to read up on the horrors committed by the Catholic Church right there in Australia.

    • Merv99

      What did poor Canada do to get left off that list?

      • Prixator

        Harper. Who is also a nasty bastard.

      • canoebum

        Only on my first cup of coffee. And CANADA!

  • Since he’s calling for a referendum of the people to address the issue I assume that is how this anti-gay law got put on Australia’s books — he wants to do it this way so the people have the opportunity to undo what the people earlier decided.

    What’s that you say? The Howard government enacted this discriminatory law without a plebiscite? Then how about the Parliament undo the wrong they instituted.

    • Gene

      flawless logic
      but, he would not understand it, fogged as he is by that incense and guilt scented cloud of Roman Catholic mind numbing dogma

  • Mark

    I love it when these bigots do the ‘my way or the highway’ tyranny. I would hope Australians would kick him to the curb for that alone.

  • oikos

    Nothing says you have a winning position like threatening to fire people who disagree with you.

    • Todd20036

      Seriously. If I were one of the leaders, I’d rethink my alliance with someone who doesn’t let me vote my conscience, or at least vote the way my constituents want me to vote.

      • oikos

        Australia’s version of the repugs.

        • GayEGO

          Yeah, just like the Repugnantans! :>)

      • Reality.Bites

        This is the way parliamentary democracy works. Do you think for one minute someone can disavow the American president’s policy and remain in cabinet?

        • There is the minor difference that membership of Congress is not a prerequisite for being appointed to the President’s cabinet, while a Prime Minister’s cabinet must be members of Parliament. In that respect, he has more power to coerce Parliament than the President has to coerce Congress.

  • Cosmo Tupper

    Didn’t know that Australia was a communist regime. I’ll make sure to not visit that country. No better than Kim Jong Un/ Il. Next he will be threatening ex*c*tion of anyone in government that gets out of line. He is a third world hack and needs to be investigated by the international community for crimes against humanity. He may not be guilty, but it sure would eat up his resources to have to deal with such an inquiry and the negative publicity that goes along with it. HE IS A MAJOR F*CKING BULLY!

    • Reality.Bites

      You know, only a tiny handful of U.S. states voted in equality through the legislatures or voters. And in most states the legislature and/or voters have done everything they could to prevent it. The United States is really not in a position to lecture other countries on the slowness of their march to equality.

      • Cosmo Tupper

        Wasn’t lecturing Australia. Lecturing Abbott for he is in the same boat as the US GOP. If you don’t get the answer you want, fire the judges and hire ones that WILL give the answer they want. Like the bully kid playing jacks on the playground – if you can’t win, just snatch all the jacks and declare “I’m not playing anymore!”.

  • TexPlant

    Feel for the Aussies who must endure this prick.

    • Todd20036

      Ok. My mind wandered with your comment….

      • David Walker

        True. It’s almost Shakespearean.

  • Galvestonian

    Wow ! This Ozzie is a right dinkum arsehole…

  • Dreaming Vertebrate

    Sad to see invasive species such as the “weaselpecker bigotus” doing so much damage to Australia’s once pristine land.

  • zhera

    What exactly is the point of having a vote if they can’t vote as they like?

  • I hope it does go to a vote and I hope a frontbencher does vote for it forcing Abbott to decide if he is going to follow through on his threat or not. If he does it will only further highlight how archaic their position is and weaken their standing before the next election. They killed a free vote but they could still feel negative ramifications of doing so.

  • Ninja0980

    Never, ever trust a bigot.
    If he and his party are reelected, I can 100% guarantee that his “promise” will go up in smoke.

    • Gene

      not in smoke per se…it will just be “reschedueled” for a later time…and at that time there will be a minor natural disaster that means it needs to be dated later…etc etc. Or, some problem with getting a plebicite on the books will arise…and getting a vote by the people like that passed is VERY, VERY hard in Australia. Percentages of people in each state, plus a certain number of the states have to approve it, so, as I understand it, it could have majority support, and still lose. And, human rights should never be voted on in the first case. An australian parliment made this mess…it should clean up this mess

      • That is what the High Court thinks, too, though it is too discreet to speak of messes.

    • StraightGrandmother

      yes there will always be other more important, more pressing issues to deal with.

    • His promises have already been shown to be as empty as a Biafran’s stomach.

  • Also there is this strange idea that if people disagree on something it is best to send it to the people for a vote. People disagree on virtually everything that Parliament decides, there may be varying levels of disagreement but it is always there. Elected bodies are elected to make decisions like this, it is absurd to say that they are somehow overstepping what they are supposed to do if they vote on this.

  • Ninja0980

    If nothing else, Tony Abbott is a sad reminder that having someone in your family who is LGBT often won’t change a damn thing for that person.
    In fact, it often makes them even more viciously anti-gay then they were before.

  • Cosmo Tupper

    Putting a civil-right to a vote is not how you decide these issues. If that had been done historically in the US, African-Americans would still be enslaved, sitting at the back of the bus, drinking from a different water cooler and only allowed to marry their “own kind”, while women would not be working or voting and only allowed to raise children, cook and clean for her “master” – barefoot and pregnant!

    • Raising_Rlyeh

      I get what you are saying, but it is the sad truth that historically the right for women to vote and civil rights was decided by a vote. The way we pass amendments requires a popular vote. I agree that civil rights should never be decided by popular vote.

      • Cosmo Tupper

        A popular vote did not ratify the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It was enacted by Congress and signed into law by LBJ, but make not mistake, the popular opinion at the time was NOT to pass these rights, but to squelch these rights because it is “the freedom of religion” that drove all fights against human rights because it is in the bible, for p*ss sake.

        • Raising_Rlyeh

          I didn’t claim the Civil Rights Act was passed by a popular vote. I was pointing out that the rights were, unfortunately, voted on.

  • Brian in Valdosta

    Positively disgraceful, Mr Abbot. Let’s let Democracy work as Democracy, shall we?

  • LovesIrony

    He’s a fucking bigot, and I hope marriage equality takes him and his homophobic friends down.

    • There is a developing scandal over MPs and Senators abusing their Parliamentary allowances — the Speaker, the odious Bronwyn Bishop, has already had to fall on her sword over it — which has the potential to erode his already fragile support in his own Party. Don’t forget, he has already been faced with a “leadership spill” which he only narrowly survived despite no actual challenger having come forward. When one does, the shit may really hit the fan.

      • LovesIrony

        yeah I checked his diminishing support earlier and though I would love for his antigay bigotry to take him and his down, but would be a ok with any thing that removes these anti equality shits

        • It may not be #1, or even the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back, but the Abbott camel is already rather heavily loaded.

  • People4Humanity

    May the monarch school him.

    • Robincho

      IF the Queen said this (and I desperately hope that she did), she said it to someone who had sworn not to repeat it. Equally interesting to me would
      be to learn the fate of the person to whom she said it (again, IF she said it), Stephen Fry notwithstanding.

      Since 1936 (when she learned that her extraordinarily weak-minded “Uncle David” [later, and very briefly, King Edward VIII], pussywhipped by ruthless
      harridan Wallis Simpson, had all but handed her the throne*), everything she says publicly has been governmentally scripted.

      One exception, a failed documentary attempt to “humanize” the Royals, has her announcing to her family, “The salad’s ready.” And even in this,
      she manages to sound gravely portentous.

      * (This was unintentionally all to the good, since sooner or later Uncle Dave
      would have been discovered sucking Hitler’s dick…)

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    “Abbott has promised a public referendum on marriage should his coalition be reelected.”

    Abbott and his coalition must be scared. Of course their proposal is ludicrous. I hope to see Abbott stripped of being PM after November 2016. Abbott and Harper are the dubyas of theIr counties.

  • Hue-Man

    The front-benchers should call his bluff. If he fires them all, he’s likely to lose a confidence vote and be forced to call an election. If the nation is in favor of marriage equality, would you rather campaign on your gay-hating vote to deny marriage equality or on the side of history?

    We always say elections have consequences but in election campaigns, parliamentary votes have consequences. “I didn’t REALLY mean it, I love lesbians and gays but mean old Abbott forced me to vote that way.” Doesn’t fly.

  • usorthem3

    Christians are the most hate filled people i have ever met. Never trust anyone claiming that religion as they will slop sugar to your face while figuring the best way to stab you in the back.

  • ExGayTherapyKills

    Proof they fire gays and their allies from their jobs for being gay and now a gay supporter.

  • Stev84

    He is a disgusting wannabe Catholic priest.

    • Pope wannabe, or at least Archbishop wannabe.

  • Where’s the Aussie version of Lou Costello? Maybe they can play “who’s on the front bench?”

    • The interesting person here is Malcolm Turnbull, Abbott’s Minister for Environment and Water Resources, who is widely seen to be biding his time before challenging Abbott for the Leadership. (Remember that the PM is not directly elected; the post devolves on the leader of the party or coalition that holds the majority of seats in the House of Representatives.)

      Turnbull is on record as supporting ME, and if he votes for it when it comes to the floor and Abbott sacks him, that may well give him the excuse to challenge.

      We used to have a Costello in Parliament, Peter Costello, who was Little Johnny Howard’s Treasurer from 1996 until Howard and his party lost the 2007 election. He resigned from Parliament two years later, but had he remained (and kept his seat in 2013) Abbott would almost certainly have appointed him Treasurer again. Which would have meant Oz being ruled by Abbott and Costello.

      • billbear1961

        “Turnbull is on record as supporting ME, and if he votes for it when it comes to the floor and Abbott sacks him, that may well give him the excuse to challenge.”

        Go for it, Turnbull!

        Replace this useless PUTZ!

        • Turnbull is no angel, but he would be a great improvement on Abbott. We live in interesting times, as the Chinese saying has it.

  • Robert Adams

    The nice thing about a Parliamentary system — you aren’t necessarily stuck with the elected jerks for a set period of time. A vote of “No Confidence” and the Poobah and his supporters can be toast.

  • StraightGrandmother

    The video played but I didn’t get any audio out of it.
    I played another YouTube video to test and I got audio, so I wonder what is going on?

  • William

    Who died and made you Emperor? Check with your sovereign, she was practically giddy when she signed the same sex marriage law in Britain.

  • James

    Another politician who’s forgotten that he’s supposed to be in office to do what the people want, not what he personally wants. Amazing coincidence that most of those who are like him are also right-wingers.

  • billbear1961

    It’s you who need FIRING, you tyrannical and hateful SOB!

    What the HELL are you so AFRAID of, BASTARD?!

    “Mr Abbott said he accepts people may be disappointed over the Coalition’s decision to reject a free vote on same-sex marriage but says the government has to keep faith with the public.”

    But you AREN’T keeping faith with them, and you KNOW it! The polls show us that, and overwhelmingly!

    • billbear1961

      If enough of your own people DEFY you, you braying ASS, there’s little you can do about it without putting your position and very possibly your government at risk!

  • olva63

    Tony Abbott is very much a poster child for the educated stupid. They know how to successfully play the ‘system’, make plenty of money, like the Trump, but, when pushed on anything outside of their tiny little worlds of money and career success, they truly are as dumb as shit. The problem with modern politics is that too many politicians are lawyers. Lawyers, who suck at law become career politicians. Either way, both law and politics are self-generating industries that thrive mostly on bullshit.