AUSTRALIA: Nonbinding Postal Plebiscite On Marriage To Happen, Former PM Tony Abbott Urges “NO” Vote

UPI reports:

Australian citizens will be asked where they stand on potential legalization of same-sex marriage in a non-binding mail-in vote, after lawmakers failed to pass legislation Wednesday to make it a national plebiscite vote issue in November.

Canberra’s governing Liberal-National Coalition failed to pass a bill in Parliament that would have secured funding to restore Australia’s compulsory plebiscite on Nov. 25, which means the same-sex marriage vote will instead likely take shape as a voluntary voting effort.

“At the last election, we made a very clear promise to the Australian people that we would not facilitate the introduction of a bill to legalize same-sex marriage until the Australian people had had their say,” Turnbull said in a press conference on Tuesday prior to the plebiscite effort falling short.

Australia’s News Corp outlet reports:

The former prime minister fired the first shot this morning in what will be a fierce public battle over coming weeks as Australia prepares to vote on whether to make same-sex marriage legal.

“Obviously I will be voting no, but in the end this is not about the politicians, this is about the people, it’s about your view,” Mr Abbott told reporters outside Parliament this morning. “And I say to you if you don’t like same-sex marriage, vote ‘No,’” he said.

“If you’re worried about religious freedom and freedom of speech, vote ‘No’, and if you don’t like political correctness, vote ‘No’ because voting ‘No’ will help to stop political correctness in its tracks.”

Last year Abbott came to the US to deliver an attack on LGBT rights in a speech to Alliance Defending Freedom, which openly advocates for criminalizing homosexuality.

Abbott’s lesbian sister hits back.

More from ABC News:

Children are being exposed to hatred by the push for a public vote on same-sex marriage, Labor senator Penny Wong has told the Upper House. “This ain’t a respectful debate,” she said in a passionate speech to the Senate this morning.

The Senate has refused to let the Government bring back the bill for a plebiscite on same-sex marriage, with Labor, the Greens, the Nick Xenophon Team and Derryn Hinch combining to reject it. A gay woman with two children, she was visibly angry about the tone of the debate.

“The Australian Christian Lobby described our children as the stolen generation,” she said. “We love our children and I object, as do every person who cares about children, and as do all those couples in this country, same-sex couples who have kids, to be told our children are a stolen generation. You talk about unifying moments? It is not a unifying moment. It is exposing our children to that kind of hatred.”

  • FAEN

    You’re on the wrong side of history Tony. Shame on you.

  • bkmn

    Hey Abbott – go fuck yourself!

    • Uncle Mark

      If he did/could fuck himself, Abbott would be terrified that it would be considered gay sex…and thus considered a homosexual

  • Jonathan Smith
  • Jonathan Smith
  • TrueWords
  • Statistics Palin

    Former Roman catholic priest, Tony Abbott, is afraid that he’ll have to pay his altar boys alimony. hence, he vocally opposes same-sex marriage.

  • Bj Lincoln

    We have a few friends there and they are saying most people are for equal marriage and Abbott is full of shit. A plebiscite is costly and unnecessary. Most don’t understand why the government has made this such an issue.

    • FAEN

      They’re just trying to block the inevitable-just as they did here.

      • Ninja0980

        Yup, and many of them have stated they’ll be a no vote regardless so why waste time with this?

    • zhera

      It pleases the religious base of voters. It’s always about the next election and how to get/stay in power.

    • RationalismRules

      The govt has made an issue of it because the Prime Minister is weak, and dares not upset the powerful right-wing faction of his party by showing leadership on the issue.

      Polling shows support in the 60% range.
      Abbott is an arrogant sexist Catholic shit-stain who didn’t even make it through one full term as Prime Minister – he was so unpopular with the voters that his party rolled him because they knew he would lose them re-election.

  • Adam Stevens

    At least it’s nice to know American Heterosexuals don’t corner the market in assholery.

  • Gigi

    “And I say to you if you don’t like same-sex marriage, vote ‘No.'” Who cares whether or not you ‘”like’ it? I don’t like conservatives. Should we be able to vote on their rights and freedoms? GTFOH!

    • Cackalaquiano

      His language was very telling of his disdain for us.

  • Treant

    (tugs sleeve) Civil rights aren’t voted on. Equal rights are either laid out in your laws and Constitution, or the laws and Constitution need to be changed to reflect that.

    This is a delaying tactic, as we all are fully aware. How about we put your official opinions on record and then, if you fail to do the right thing, we then ask the public what they think about you?

    • FAEN

      Exactly-rights aren’t voted on precisely because they’re rights.

  • Tawreos

    Am I understanding this correctly? The people that are supposed to represent the people voted to not allow the people to express their opinions through the ballot box?

  • Ninja0980

    My heart goes out to his sister.
    Can’t imagine what it’s like to have a brother who is fighting tooth and nail against your rights every day.
    Sad to say though, Abbott is another bigot in a long list of them that have LGBT family members.
    Why I will never wish a LGBT person on them, it often doesn’t do a damn thing to change their bigoted ways.

  • VodkaAndPolitics

    I don’t understand where any of this comes from… I have this idealized view in my head of Aussies being fun loving, progressive, surfer dudes, who are all hot and always do the right thing.

    • Jonathan Smith
    • Hue-Man

      Last week, I mentioned the Australian 4-part mini-series Deep Water.
      Worth a watch to change this sunny perception of Australia, based on actual events.

    • Dana Chilton

      There’s a very strong right wing Christian fundamentalist movement in Australia. The ACL is just like our own ADF or focus on the family or AFA but in Australia it has much much more political power. Most Australiaians support marriage but its opponents are very loud and angry and will lie, fear monger, and harass anyone and everyone to get their way

      • VodkaAndPolitics

        Well… They can go _________ a __________.

      • RationalismRules

        The ACL is not as strong as you seem to think. Religion is not generally a high priority for Aussies (50% claim no religion). The real problem on this issue is that the Prime Minister is dependent on the powerful right-wing faction of his party, whose support he needs to stay in power. So instead of leading the country he’s done a Pontius Pilate and passed it on to the people to decide, like Cameron did with Brexit.
        The problem with a voluntary postal plebiscite is that those opposed may well make more of an effort than those in favor, who may be assuming it will pass and not bother to vote. Whatever happens, it will be divisive, and a gigantic waste of money. Fucking useless politicians!

        • Dana Chilton

          You’re absolutely right but their power is oversized considering their small numbers. The politically powerful evangelical extremists have long held power in Canberra and their terribleness is excused by society writ large because they’re used to them and the laid back attitude of many aussies just contributes to their ability to pull the levers of power.

        • And the ACL is NOT happy that they aren’t going to get any taxpayer money for their anti-gay campaign should the postal-vote exercise take place, so they’ll have to dig into their own pockets. We won’t either, but we have well-heeled supporters — and public opinion on our side. But voting by post will not be compulsory, so we shall have to campaign to get out the vote (as they say in the US) and that will be a new experience for us.

    • Tempus Fuggit

      Er…no. You’re thinking of Kiwis. Australia is to New Zealand as the US is to Canada.

  • billbear1961

    Who the FUCK do you think you are? You don’t LIKE the idea others deserve the same rights YOU have, so just vote to arbitrarily DENY them those rights?!

    How about if you don’t like hateful bigots who want to deny their neighbours the rights THEY have always taken for granted, you vote to deny those bigots THEIR rights??

    You should be treated EXACTLY as you treat the people whose right to EQUALITY you’re trampling all over!!

    I hope the “Liberals” are satisfied–Australia will now witness a campaign of unrelenting HATRED, all because MPs don’t have the GUTS to do what they KNOW is right and vote right NOW, in parliament, to make equality the law of the land!!

    • No, there won’t be a campaign of “unrelenting hatred”. There will be, there already is, a campaign of demand for “respectful debate”. Which is bigot-speak for “unquestioning obedience”, for obedience to their hateful demands. Of course they’ll scream at that reading of their words, but the ACL is already whining about the PM’s announcement last night that no government money will be given to letter-writing activists on either side of the, um, debate. About how unfair it is that the “homosexual movement” gets big bikkies from rich organisations like Qantas and Toyota while poor, downtrodden Christians have to dig into their own pockets…

      I said the other day that the Coalition’s (mis)handling of marriage equality is going to cost them the next election. Interesting to find I’m far from alone in that opinion. Sure, it won’t be the only issue that will weigh on the voters’ minds — but it will be the one that illuminates the Coalition’s record of incompetence and dishonesty into sharp relief. Turnbull might imagine that is just fantasy; but his idol Little Johnny Howard was also a weak man who mistook stubborness for strength — and look what happened to him.

      • billbear1961

        I hope everything works out well, Roger!

        Their stubborn refusal to do the decent thing makes one quite sick at heart!

        • It doesn’t exactly to make me want to sing out for joy either, but I’m a patient man. If we have to wait for the present government to fall, so be it.

          In the meantime, there’s a certain schadenfreude in watching Turnbull and Co getting egg on their face — and if some of that egg comes in the form of a leadership challenge from the Mad Monk, that will make it harder to wipe off.

          But don’t forget that we are are better off in terms of rights here than in some other countries one might mention: you can’t be sent to gaol, refused service by a shop, trades-person or government department, fired, denied housing or employment, vilified, abused, or otherwise discriminated against (not legally, anyway) just because you’re gay. And we do have marriage-lite in the form of Registered Partnership — though if you say that is a poor substitute for the validation that the right to marry gives, I must agree: it is indeed that validation, that legitimacy, that the bigots (Christian or otherwise) are so keen to deny us and our families.

  • JT

    Get your fucking arses in gear, Aussies, and do the right thing!

    • BobSF_94117

      There was a National Geographic Special on Australian lifeguards in the late 60s. It turned me. I swear.

  • j.martindale

    They toss “political correctness” out there to describe their behavior that is offensive, immoral and harmful to others. It is their go-to excuse to be pricks.

  • another_steve

    I traveled a bit in Australia in my day. Sydney (for Gay Games), then Adelaide and surrounding cities. Australians are a good and loving people. I’m very out (believe me, there’s no hiding it), and nowhere did anyone blink an eyelash.

    If there’s a fair and honest “mail-in vote,” I’m confident Aussies will do the right thing.

  • AtticusP
  • zhera

    Fucking haters can fuck the right fucking off! It is such an insult to have a vote on civil rights, even when the expected outcome is yes to equality.

    It is NOT how civilized countries deal with important issues. Fuck you, Abbott!

  • Jim Maloney

    “If you don’t like __________, vote no.” – Tony Abbott

    So, if there’s anything you don’t like about the world, even pasta or stamp collecting, vote no. Take out all your gripes in the world on same-sex marriage and vote no.


  • JWC

    Oh fercrissake just gey on with it and pass it

  • The New Paige Turner™

    This is going to be a dreadful few months. The Australian Christian Lobby have taken all of Tony Perkins talking points and are using them with reckless abandon including “Every child deserves a Mum and a Dad” and the good old “This is a slippery slope and will lead to polygamy”

    This is a ridiculous waste of time and money in order for the right wing government to not tear itself apart and just have a bloody conscious vote.

    As for the Homocons in parliament (Trent Zimmerman and Tim Wilson) your party does not support you or your relationships.

    And the irony of all of this is that Tony Abbott (The former PM) has a lesbian sister.

  • -M-

    Really over right wing scum like Abbott portraying government imposition of religiously or politically motivated, political correctness as freedom.

  • NZArtist

    They’re Australian, dontcha know.