AUSTRALIA: Government To Press For Postal Plebiscite On Marriage After Bid For Conscience Vote Fails

ABC News reports:

Federal Liberal MPs have overwhelmingly decided to keep their current policy on same-sex marriage. Only seven Liberals voted to change the policy after a two-hour meeting ended with a show of hands.

The seven MPs who voted to change the policy were: Warren Entsch and Trevor Evans (Qld), Tim Wilson and Jason Wood (Vic), John Alexander and Trent Zimmerman (NSW) and Senator Dean Smith (WA). It means the push by a small group of Liberals for an immediate conscience vote on same-sex marriage has failed.

But Mr Wood said it was “great news” because Australia had come a step closer to having same-sex marriage. The Coalition will now try again to have a plebiscite — or national vote — on whether the law should be changed to allow same-sex marriage.

More from the Australian:

The federal government will launch a postal plebiscite on same-sex marriage as soon as next week as Malcolm Turnbull sets a December 7 deadline to decide the reform in parliament, backed by Liberal MPs who endorsed the “people’s vote” in a high-stakes meeting tonight.

The government is claiming a “high degree of confidence” it can stare down court challenges to the optional postal vote on the controversial social question, clearing the way for a free vote in parliament if Australians back the change.

Mr Turnbull secured overwhelming support for the plebiscite from the Liberal meeting in Parliament House after a week of infighting that fuelled talk of a threat to his authority from the deep animosities over changing the Marriage Act.

Aiming to stop the internal brawl from deepening the government’s political problems, Mr Turnbull will see an agreement from the Coalition party room on Tuesday to embrace the postal vote if the Senate once again rejects the original election commitment of a compulsory plebiscite.

  • Tawreos

    I hope this works out for them, but they still should not be putting people rights up to a vote.

  • DaddyRay
  • billbear1961

    Pathetic and disgraceful!

    Damn these fucking bigots and cowards!

  • Chris Gardner

    I guess “Liberal” has a different meaning there than it does here. 🙁

    • djcoastermark

      Yes. Someone here the other day, posted that the liberal party there is akin to the repubble party in the US. The Labour party is more akin to the US democrats. Names, up is down and down is up, it is different all over the world and confusing at times.

    • zhera

      I could be wrong but I think the US is the only country where the Liberals are ‘left wing’.

    • Karl Dubhe

      Their party uses the traditional meaning for the world. 🙂

      Pro-business, anti-union.


    • Kruhn

      The Australian Liberal Party takes its name from classic liberalism, which is akin to libertarianism.

  • LovesIrony

    We make pretty pawns, don’t we?

    • Todd20036

      I like to think of myself as a fabulous pawn!

      • bambinoitaliano

        Can I have the prawn, pawn and porn to go please?

  • billbear1961

    What the HELL is a POSTAL plebiscite?

    How about one to decide which rights Liberal MPs should be stripped of?!

  • Bluto
    • bambinoitaliano

      hmmmmmm maybe we can build such nice golf course say at the sink hole of Mar-a Largo?

    • darwin award competitor.

  • billbear1961

    The majority in Parliament has 76 seats. Opposition numbers total 74, 69 of them Labor.

    If just 3 of the 4 (now 7) Liberals who want a free vote leave the party and sit as independents, the goddamned government will FALL!!

  • j.martindale
  • Leo
    • bambinoitaliano

      Dangerously low? Like he will fall into a pit and never be seen again danger?

    • djcoastermark

      I guess that’s why he had his tweet storm this AM ranting (again) about the failing NYT and his base getting, I forget, stranger or stronger ?

      • Karl Dubhe

        They’re getting stronger, it’s what happens when you don’t bathe for 7 months. 🙂

      • Jim Maloney

        “‘The failing NYT’ that I willingingly give interviews to” – DJ Trump

  • billbear1961

    Tell the party caucus, either there’s a FREE vote, or you’ll bring down the government!

    • Mark_in_MN

      All parliamentary votes should be free votes.

  • billbear1961

    Three defections and the government will FALL!

  • billbear1961

    Down with the Coalition!

    A genuine democracy does NOT hold referenda on civil RIGHTS!!

    • djcoastermark

      A genuine democracy…. Perfect !

    • The New Paige Turner™

      A non binding postal plebiscite.

      Its just a cynical delaying exercise.

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    • Kruhn

      Well technically down with the Liberal and National parties.

  • Ninja0980

    Civil rights shouldn’t be up for a public vote asshole, especially one that’s non-binding.

  • Karl Dubhe

    Cowardly curs.

    I used to think that the Aussies were better than this.

  • The New Paige Turner™

    This is embarrassing for our Government and our country.

    The PM is vulnerable as well as the 7 who supported SSM.

    They should all resign as their party does not support them and they cannot in good conscience now support their party.

    The PM is a weak and wounded Man who has sold out all of his values around climate change, SSM and becoming a republic just to be PM.

    The Labor party will win the next election in a landslide. Marriage equality will be the law of the land in 100 days and a referendum on becoming a republic will happen.

    This liberal coalition dinosaur government is toast.

    • Ben in Oakland

      I hope you are right. On the other hand, we have Trump when he should not have even gotten close.

  • The_Wretched

    Does “liberal” mean something else in Australia?

    • Canadian Observer

      Yes, it means pretty much the opposite of what it does in America. (Not attempting to be snarky, this is a sincere response to the question)

      • The_Wretched


  • JT

    What the fuck is wrong with these Aussie assholes?

  • TheManicMechanic

    Jeeziss Fookin Kroist, Straya!

  • JWC

    Just do it OZ

  • Richard B

    Malcolm Turnbull should recognize that marriage equality is inevitable in Australia. He needs to stop wasting time, energy, and money and just put it up for a vote in parliament and move on. The US and Europe worlds didn’t come to an end nor will Australia’s. It will make unhappy SSM people very happy and the unhappy religious zealots will always be unhappy religious zealots.

  • JCF