Search Browse On This Day Map Quotations Timeline Research Free Datasets Remembered About Contact

Marriage equality issue hovers over Aus. elections

Sat 2 Jul 2016 In: International News View at Wayback

The vexed issue of same-sex marriage hovers in the background as Australians go to the general election voting booths today, with current prime minister Malcolm Turnbull saying he will, if elected, put the issue to a national referendum. Senator Penny Wong However, opposition and Labor party leader Bill Shorten now says such a vote would give undue prominence to hateful, ugly and homophobic views in pre-referendum public debate. In 2013 he told Christian religious leaders that he was comfortable with a referendum but he now says his party will introduce a bill to legalise gay marriage within 100 days if it receives enough votes to form a government. Marriage equality activists, such as Labor senator Penny Wong, are almost universally opposing a public vote on the issue. Wong says it would “license hate speech to those who need little encouragement.” Pre-election day pollsters are predicting a slight upswing in votes for Labour compared to the last election but with the coalition maintaining a comfortable majority. Gay political and legal advocate retired justice of the Australian High Court Michael Kirby has in the past told GayNZ.com Daily News the main stumbling block preventing marriage equality being more fully embraced before now is the tight political race in the deeply conservative and religious outer suburban electorates of most Australian eastern seaboard cities.    

Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News staff

First published: Saturday, 2nd July 2016 - 7:36am

Rights Information

This page displays a version of a GayNZ.com article that was automatically harvested before the website closed. All of the formatting and images have been removed and some text content may not have been fully captured correctly. The article is provided here for personal research and review and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of PrideNZ.com. If you have queries or concerns about this article please email us