AUSTRALIA: PM Smacks Down Same-Sex Marriage Bill

The Australian reports:

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has poured cold water on a Liberal backbencher’s move to present a private member’s bill to allow a conscience vote on same-sex marriage.

“The government’s policy is very clear: we support a plebiscite where all Australians would be given a vote on the matter and that remains our policy,” he told reporters in Paris.

West Australian senator Dean Smith is working on a plan to end the “embarrassment” of the nation and legalise same-sex marriage through a conscience vote in parliament, defying his own government’s policy of a plebiscite on the issue.

Senator Smith, who is gay, said his private member’s bill was well advanced and he intended taking it to the party room for discussion in the near future.

“The bill is important because it will allow the Liberal Party to revisit the issue of marriage once and for all before the next election,” Senator Smith told Seven West’s Sunday Times.

  • Hanwi

    Did all Australians vote on interracial marriage?

    Civil rights are not ruled by the mob, they are inherent.

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  • Bluto

    Really Australia, we loves ya & all but this is fucking ridiculous & embarrassing.

    My suggestion for turnbull:

    • j.martindale
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      • Kenster999

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    • JT

      You go, roo!

    • That guy was lucky the roo didn’t disembowel him.

  • JamesStone

    I wonder if he would be happy with total strangers voting on his ability to marry the person he loves?

  • That_Looks_Delicious

    The party room?

  • FAEN

    Hey Turnbull-

    You’re fighting a battle you’ve already lost.

    Gay rights are human rights and human rights are gay rights.

    Remember that.

  • bambinoitaliano
  • JT

    Throw this fuckwad out!

  • Max_1
    • JT

      Evidently the current Australia government had no desire to follow the enlightened world.

  • safari

    …is there any benefit to a plebiscite at all? My understanding is the parliament then just votes after it.

    • JohnMyroro

      The “benefit” is that the plebiscite is never going to happen, and thus neither is marriage equality.

    • In this case, the proposal is — or more accurately, was, as the Senate blocked it — for a non-binding plebiscite. Which the Government can choose to simply ignore. The reason for a plebiscite rather than a referendum — whose result does bind the Parliament — is that the High Court has already ruled that there is no Constitutional question to be resolved here, as the Constitution grants the Commonwealth Government the power to legislate on “marriage”.

      In any case, it would be highly unlikely that Turnbull’s plebiscite would be held on its own rather than in conjunction with an election. Too costly.

  • StillALiberal

    Turnbull’s belief in referendums is based solely on the fact it is a way to avoid taking responsibility on an issue that divides his party. If the ALP were to be 75%+ pro-SSM OR 75%+ anti-SSM then he will never be talking about “let the people decide”. Marriage has always been a Federal Parliament matter in Australia and Turnbull is just being a total coward for party political reasons. (This sort of thing would never happen in my country (UK) of course )

    • safari

      Party over family.

    • Dana Chilton

      It’s all about him personally not wanting to take responsibility for marriage becoming law while at the same time taking credit for being so fair minded once the people vote yes.

  • JWC

    Get off the pot and pass the bill

  • JohnMyroro

    So Australia is just a southern hemisphere version of Texas or Alabama. Quelle surprise.

    • Jonathan from Australia

      It’s not. It is a similar case to Germany. The population support it but we have a government with a slim majority and the PM (much to his shame) must keep the support of the very conservation elements of his party.

      • KnownDonorDad

        If it came down to it, would it pass a plebiscite, like in Ireland?

        • Ninja0980

          No, as it would be non-binding, hence why a plebiscite is a waste of time.

  • John30013

    Unfortunately, the article Joe linked to appears to be behind a pay wall. I was curious as to whether Turnbull could actually quash this bill by himself.

    • JohnMyroro

      Yes, he can. Unless a majority of his own party rises against him, which of course they won’t.

      • John30013

        Thanks! He’s been a total jackass on marriage since he was elected.

  • zhera

    It’s time to have a plebiscite on heterosexual marriage in Australia. Goose, gander, etc.

  • Ninja0980

    Turnbull is aware that the public vote isn’t binding and that several of the bigots have already made clear that they will be no votes even if the public vote is 100% in favor right?

  • Dana Chilton

    This PM promised to be a defender of the LGBTQI community… he promised marriage would become legal if he became PM. He promises he supports marriage. Now in power he wants to push marriage off, reducing a basic right to a popularity contest. He’s the worst kind of politician

    • ‘Til Tuesday

      Kind of reminds me of US Democrats back in the day before we finally pressured/shamed them into giving up their hypocrisy on marriage equality. And too many of them waited until the last possible moment before having a “conversion” on marriage.

      • NowVoyager

        Of course the Democrats never really had to vote on anything in that regard since the US Supreme Court struck down DOMA as well as bringing us Marriage Equality in the form of a favorable Constitutional Right ruling. Yes, the Republicans are evil bigots, but the Democrats in DC have predictably been chickenshits on our equality issues. In the first two years of Obama’s administration, even when they controlled both Houses of Congress, with a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, they still refused to pass ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act) which had been floating around for decades in one form or another.

        But, realistically speaking, we all know (don’t we) that a worthless ally who does nothing to help you, but still takes your money and support, is still better than an evil homophobic fascist cabal who would happily destroy us — such great choices. Of course, the only justification for voting Democrat (especially concerning LGBT equality issues) is that theirs is the party (when in the executive branch) that would most likely appoint a better and fairer Supreme Court nominee and see that confirmed in a Democratic Controlled Senate when there is a vacancy. Still, they are better when it comes Climate Change, Environmental Protection and few other important issues — just not on Income Equality nor on Civil Rights anymore.

        Too bad they have proven, time after time, to be so useless when it has come down to any legislation to advance our civil rights. Their only accomplishment was the repeal of DADT (that their own party created under Clinton) which was on its way out anyway as it was winding its way through the lower courts with multiple rulings against the law. The Democrats only voted for its repeal in a Lame Duck session after they lost control of the Congress. A true profile in courage.

        So sad that the last Democratic president who had any real balls was Lyndon B. Johnson. When he sadly realized that the Democrats would lose the South for generations to come if he signed into law both the 1964 Civil Right Act and 1965 Voting Rights Act protecting the rights of Black folks, but he did it anyway. Other than getting us sucked into the Vietnam War by red-baiting Republicans, which was a horrible mistake and his greatest failing, he should still be remembered fondly as the President who gave us Medicare and Medicaid (so the elderly and the poor could have health care); he also supported and signed into law federal college grant programs, more available scholarships and low-interest school loans so working-class and poor kids could also attend college. Furthermore, he paved the way for the Food Stamp Program and School Lunch Programs so the poor and their children wouldn’t starve. There were so many other legislative accomplishments that he helped to bring to fruition during his presidency which helped the working class and the poor.

        If we ever hope to take back the Congress from the Corporatists Neo-Nazis Parasites in charge now as they continue to refill the swamp in D.C., let us first make sure we put back into power both a Democratic majority and a president at the helm with strong unwavering convictions and the courage to fight for them — just like like Pres. Johnson and the Democrats in the early to mid-1960s.


        Here is an interesting link regarding President Johnson’s legacy.

  • KarenAtFOH

    A shitty politician not supported by a majority. Where’ve seen than before…

  • leastyebejudged

    I’ll never forgive people for voting on my marriage.

  • sword

    Where are the Simpsons when we need them?

  • JCF
  • Paul

    What would it take for a confidence vote to be triggered against the Turnbull government?

    -signed, an American who’s ignorant of the intricacies of parliamentary procedure

  • greenmanTN

    OT, but this a discussion between an openly gay 13 year old British boy and a 78 year old gay British man discussing their experiences. The older man came of age when homosexuality was illegal in Britain, the 13 year old was met with acceptance by friends and family.

  • madknits

    Let there be a plebiscite for Turnbull’s marriage.