With PM Malcolm Turnbull’s postal vote on marriage equality looming in the near future, the National Union of Students (NUS) stands ready to fight for marriage equality both at the postbox and in the streets.
After having his proposed plebiscite defeated twice in the Senate, Turnbull’s desperate move to a postal vote on marriage equality is both a delaying tactic to appease the hard-right ideologues of his party and a way of disenfranchising young people from participating in the process.
Contrary to what Finance Minister Mathias Cormann might say, this vote is not in any way a unifying process: young people between 18 and 24 are less likely to be enrolled and have now been given a fortnight in which to do it to have their opinion counted.
‘We know now that while over two-thirds of the Australian public support marriage equality, that figure shoots up to 81 per cent when we’re dealing with young people between 18 and 24,’ said Chris di Pasquale, National LGBTI Officer for NUS.
‘This is an underhanded and undemocratic move by Turnbull to mobilise bigots both within and outside of the Liberal Party and to stymie reform,’ said di Pasquale.
‘And while NUS maintains its opposition to this postal vote and maintains the longstanding demand of the marriage equality campaign in this country for a free parliamentary vote, the fight to get young people enrolled and the fight to win this vote in favour of equal rights begins today.’
‘The battle lines were drawn when Tony Abbott crawled out of his garbage bin to inform us that a vote against marriage equality was a vote against political correctness and a vote for freedom of speech,’ said di Pasquale. ‘To reduce our desire to for equality to mere political correctness is an insult to those of us who have fought for 13 years to overturn the ban on marriage equality.’
‘This is why NUS will be rolling out a campus-based campaign to ensure young people are on the roll and can vote for equality and that we continue the fight as we have done for over a decade out in the streets with the kinds of rallies and protests that have gotten us this far.’