The Turnbull government has vowed to legalise same-sex marriage by the end of 2016, if the Coalition is re-elected. Attorney-General George Brandis has claimed to make the historic decision by holding a plebiscite within an ambitious time-frame.
Brandis spoke about the government’s intention to hold a plebiscite on the issue by the end of 2016. “The bill to constitute the plebiscite will be introduced early in the life of the parliament… in the event that there would be a yes vote the government would legislate to give effect to the wishes of the people,’ Brandis told Sky News.
“Treating gay people equally is I think, one of the fundamental values of modern Australian society.”
Malcolm Turnbull attended the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras on Saturday. It was the first time an Australian prime minister attended the event. Brandis, however, said Turnbull’s presence at the event was “completely unremarkable.”
According to him, it was not the first time Turnbull attended the event.
Labor has accused the Australian PM of failing to support the conservatives in his party by going for the plebiscite. Labor leader Bill Shorten became the first leader of a major political party to take part in the parade. He reportedly called Turnbull “half arsed” for not joining the march, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Turnbull has previously claimed that “the majority of Australians support same-sex marriage and want it legislated without delay.” The plebiscite is going to cost around $160 million.
According to Brandis, the Coalition is going to propose the amendment of the sections of the Marriage Act that presently define marriage. The section was included while the Howard government was in power. He believes the section should be amended to represent real values of the Australian society.
Labor, if it forms the government, promises to hold a parliamentary vote within the first 100 days to legalise same-sex marriage.