The possibility of the legalization of same-sex marriage in Australia is still uncertain.
The Malcolm Turnbull government wants the people of the country to decide it. Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, on the other hand, may decide to go against it.
Same-sex couples in Australia may unofficially get married, but their relation does not get a legal approval. If it is left to Australian people, marriage equality may easily become reality.
According to a recent survey, more than 50 percent of Australians believe in marriage equality. To be precise, 56 percent disagree that marriage should only be between a man and a woman.
Turnbull earlier said that he expected the plebiscite to take place in 2016 itself to decide the future of same-sex marriage in Australia. The Australian prime minister also said government politicians would not be bound by the national vote.
Shorten, nevertheless, is open to blocking the plebiscite. He suggested that Labor might check the result of a conscience vote in the parliament before taking a stand about it. Both Labor and the Greens back marriage equality want a vote in the parliament.
Despite the apparent support for marriage equality, neither Labor nor the Greens has declared that it won’t vote against the plebiscite. The question in the plebiscite, however, is yet to be decided.
Around $160-$180 million must be spent to ask Australian people about their opinion. According to Nick Xenophon, it is the “most expensive opinion poll” in the world.
Shorten indicated on Monday that the “taxpayer-funded opinion poll” may just be a waste of money, since the Liberal Party said politicians would not be bound by the plebiscite anyway, Fairfax Media reports.
Turnbull was strongly against the plebiscite proposal before he had replaced Tony Abbott as the prime minister of Australia. Despite having recognized the arguments against the national poll, he accepted the government policy, which he inherited from Abbott.
Shorten, however, wants Turnbull to stick to his own views. According to the opposition leader, the people of Australia appreciate authenticity. They will appreciate it if Turnbull stands by his original opinion about the plebiscite, he said.
The fate of same-sex marriage in Australia remains unclear.