Federal Labor Candidate for Braddon Justine Keay said today she is very disappointed yet not surprised the Abbott Liberal Government members last night voted against a free vote on marriage equality.

“Whilst it is humbling that the Coalition party room debated the matter for a long period of time it shows that Tony Abbott’s Liberals know, and are willing to be on the wrong side of history.

“For the Prime Minister to suggest the people of Australia will have a vote on Marriage Equality after the next election shows how out of touch he is. The next vote on Marriage Equality will be at the next Federal Election.

“A plebiscite, which may be held if the Liberal party win the election, is a very expensive exercise for a result we already know.

“The Liberal Party’s own pollster, Crosby Textor, has released polling showing that 72% of Australians support Marriage Equality”.

The Parliament of Australia’s website on Plebiscites says “…plebiscites are advisory and do not compel a government to act on the outcome”.

“There is no guarantee that another term for Tony Abbott will result in a resolution for marriage equality”.

Ms Keay said that opponents of marriage equality often cited family values or the rights of children as reasons to oppose marriage equality.

I would like to think every child no matter who they are or their sexuality would be treated equal.

My family and young children are the most precious things in my life. But I can’t reconcile to them that our elected leaders do not treat everyone the same.

“A Labor Government will make marriage equality legal in the first 100 days of being elected”.

Ms Keay believes this issue will be an election issue for many people. “It would not surprise me if many Braddon voters who voted Liberal at the last election will choose not to at the next because of their support for Marriage Equality.

“Marriage Equality is about treating all Australians equally under law. If those who oppose it, including Liberal members of Parliament, could put aside their own views for just one moment and think about how members of the LGBTI community are discriminated and how this must make them feel, they may just change their mind.

“Either way, Tony Abbott’s Liberals have shown little intestinal fortitude and have weaselled out of taking responsibility for what they have been elected to do and ending this debate once and for all. It’s time people were put before politics”.
Justine Keay Federal Labor Candidate for Braddon