The Australian Rainbow Labor Network has accused conservative union official Joe de Bruyn of “scaremongering” and says it will “unanimously reject” a Labor conscience vote on same-sex marriage at the party’s upcoming National Conference.

Speaking at the Rainbow Labor ball in Melbourne on Friday, November 11, Rainbow Labor co-convenor Neil Pharaoh said the group wants the party to change its platform for marriage equality.

“Rainbow Labor has unanimously resolved to call on National Conference to pass a positive policy platform that makes marriage equality the official, supported position of our party,” Pharaoh said.

“The suggestion that we have an untouched or neutral policy platform is simply unacceptable.”

Pharaoh also rejected renewed calls by de Bruyn that a Labor change in favour of same-sex marriage would be “electoral suicide”.

“I say to Joe de Bruyn that we will not be shaken by your misinformation and outdated scaremongering and untruths about electoral backlash over marriage equality … because we know that marriage equality is not only supported by the vast majority of our party, but supported by the vast majority of Australians too.”

Last week federal Mental Health and Ageing Minister Mark Butler spoke out in favour of same-sex marriage and said he opposes a conscience vote on the issue.


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