VICTORIAN Premier Daniel Andrews has urged Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to reconsider the government’s plans for a marriage equality plebiscite in an impassioned letter.
“I write about your plan to hold a national plebiscite on marriage equality — a harmful public vote on whether or not a group of Australians should be considered equal under the law,” the Premier wrote.
“The plebiscite will hurt people. It will legitimise a hateful debate which will subject LGBTI Australians to publicly funded slurs and denigration, further alienating a proud community who have fought so hard against prejudice for so long,” he wrote.
He spoke about his own right to marry, something denied to many.
“You and I have both had the privilege of standing in front of our loved ones and committing ourselves for life to another person, and both of us were afforded full legal recognition when we did so,” he wrote.
“I realise now how precious that right is, because I’m witnessing so many people forced to fight just be allowed to do what I did – marry the person they love.”
The Premier pushed for the government to abandon the plebiscite and produce a bipartisan bill to amend the Marriage Act. He challenged the Prime Minster to stand up to his party room by offering a free vote in its place.
I wrote a letter to the PM, because his plebiscite on marriage equality will hurt people. pic.twitter.com/yQp5XTdVxE
— Daniel Andrews (@DanielAndrewsMP) July 24, 2016
“Marriage equality means so much to so many people,” he wrote.
“On the cusp of its realisation, it is wrong for you to impose one last hurdle — one final insult.”
This letter comes days after Prime Minister Turnbull hinted that the plebiscite could be delayed into 2017.