Politics

The Government’s Marriage Equality “Solution” Is To Do The Same Fucking Thing

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The Liberal party room just held a two-hour emergency meeting on marriage equality, and all they managed to do was recommit to a plebiscite — a policy that has already failed once in the Senate, not to mention been roundly criticised for endangering queer youth, costing a lot of money, not actually binding politicians to do anything, and a whole host of other crap.

The meeting came about after five rogue Liberal MPs proposed a free parliamentary vote on the issue last week. Their proposal was voted down, with only seven MPs (Jason Wood, Warren Entsch, Trent Zimmermann, Tim Wilson, John Alexander, Dean Smith, and Trevor Evans) in favour.

Instead, the Government plans to reintroduce its plebiscite policy to the Senate as early as next week. A plebiscite, if passed, would see all Australians vote on the issue. The result would then inform but not bind a Parliamentary vote. However, Nick Xenophon has already told BuzzFeed that his Independent senators will oppose the bill once again, which means the plebiscite will fail a second time. Labor and the Greens are also unlikely to back a plebiscite as it’s a stupid idea.

This means that the government will likely instead back a voluntary postal plebiscite, a policy that has similarly been criticised for endangering queer youth, costing a lot of money, not being binding, and potentially also not being constitutional.

It’s also possible that some of the seven Liberal MPs mentioned above could cross the floor and vote with Labor to make marriage equality a reality against the government’s wishes, but that seems unlikely.

Anyway, the long and short of it is that marriage equality is no closer than it was yesterday. Good work, Government. Way to go.