OPPOSITION Leader Bill Shorten has delivered a blistering speech announcing Labor’s intention to campaign for the “Yes” response to the government’s planned postal survey on marriage equality.
Shorten also reaffirmed Labor’s intention to legislate for marriage equality within 100 days of being elected, even if the postal survey’s result returns a majority of “no” responses, Buzzfeed has reported.
“It will vilify and demean LGBTI Australians and their children,” he said in his speech to the House of Representatives.
“We know this bile will end up in the playground, the schoolyard and the sporting field.”
“The slogans will be shouted at the children of same-sex couples. Young people who are gay will be confronted by it on social media, every day.”
Though the Prime Minister was not present at the time, Shorten damned Malcolm Turnbull for orchestrating the postal survey.
“I hold you responsible, for every hurtful bit of filth that this debate will unleash,” the Opposition Leader declared.
The speech also objected to the fact that the Government will not release any draft legislation in advance of the public vote, adding an extra layer of uncertainty to an increasingly unbalanced process.
“The most powerful act of resistance is to vote ‘yes’ for equality,” Shorten stated.
“Maintain your hope, maintain your enthusiasm. Vote yes and make sure that your friends and relatives and colleagues and classmates and teammates vote yes too.
Shorten ended the speech with a message to LGBTI youth.
“We say to young Australians who are gay, we are voting in this survey, we are participating in this survey because of you.”
Shorten was heckled throughout the speech, with Coalition MPs repeatedly referencing Labor’s failure to legislate for marriage equality in its 6 years in office, including an unsuccessful conscience vote in 2011.