The Australian Opposition Party has voted against the same-sex marriage plebiscite that has been one of the most important agendas of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull election campaign in 2016.
Labor members met at the Parliament House in Canberra to decide their final stand on the matter, and it was found that the caucus members did not support the bill. The opposition has taken the decision after Opposition Leader Bill Shorten warned them of the expected inflammation of tensions in the nation and the risk to be imposed on the gay population because of the plebiscite.
Labor’s decision to turn down the plebiscite has come following the threat of Nationals MP Andrew Broad’s withdrawal of support from the Coalition government. Shortly ahead of the plebiscite, Broad announced that he would no longer remain in the Coalition if the Government did not bring in the change to the Marriage Act in terms of marriage equality.
“The Government that I am part of, and will remain a part of, is conditional on the fact that the only way that there will be a change to the Marriage Act in this Parliament is a plebiscite and my position as a member of the government is very clear on that,” Broad told media on Tuesday. “My support for the Government is conditional that we honor our election commitments. I’m making it very clear here.”
Seeing the contradictory views of the Labor for the same-sex marriage plebiscite, it is likely for the bill to be rejected in the Senate, with the Greens and main crossbenchers already not in favor of the plebiscite.
Earlier, it was observed that the government has advocated a plebiscite as the quickest way to gain support for the bill. On the other hand, for the Labor party, the plebiscite has remained more of a $175-million affair that is, according to the opposition, a waste of taxpayers’ money. Deputy Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek said on Tuesday that the same-sex marriage plebiscite was a “wasteful exercise.”
“The High Court has said that the Australian Parliament is the proper place to determine the plebiscite,” Plibersek justified her opinion as quoted by News.com.au. “We didn’t have a plebiscite when John Howard overturned the Northern Territory’s voluntary euthanasia laws. We have never had a plebiscite.”