… IS BEST OPTION FOR PUBLIC VOTE

– Marriage equality should be achieved by parliament free vote

– But if there is to be a plebiscite it must be owned by parliament

– Model question: “Should Australia allow marriage between two people regardless of their gender”

– Praise for Gambaro for declaring she will vote for marriage equality

– Today is 11th anniversary of Howard same-sex marriage ban

Marriage equality advocates say if there has to be a plebiscite on marriage equality the Senate cross-party proposal today is the best option.

Green and cross-bench Senators have thrown their support behind a bill that will see Australians vote on marriage equality at the next election. The bill includes a model question and ensures parliament, not the Prime Minister, authorises the vote.

Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome, said,

“A plebiscite is not our favoured option but if there is to be a plebiscite it has to be a fair question and a proper process so it can’t be hijacked by the opponents of marriage equality.”

“We believe marriage equality is best dealt with by a cross-party free vote in parliament, but if there is to be a public vote we believe today’s proposal is the best model.”

“The question is neutral and the fact it is legislated ensures this is the people’s plebiscite, not Tony Abbott’s.”

“If there is to be a plebiscite it must be held at the next election to ensure the least delay and expense.”

“I have no doubt at all that a public vote in a properly regulated plebiscite would return a resounding ‘yes’ vote for marriage equality.”

Unlike a referendum, the timing and question for a plebiscite can be set by the government without recourse to parliament.

“We continue to oppose a referendum because all relevant constitutional questions have been resolved by the High Court.”

The model question proposed today is as follows:

“Should Australia allow marriage between two people regardless of their gender.”

Mr Croome praised Brisbane Liberal MP, Teresa Gambaro, for joining Wyatt Roy and Dean Smith in declaring she will cross the floor to vote for marriage equality.

He also noted that today is the eleventh anniversary of the Howard Government’s ban on same-sex marriage passing the Senate on August 13th 2004.
Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome