LYLE Shelton of the Australian Christian Lobby has said he supports a postal plebiscite for marriage equality.
“Under the right conditions, a voluntary plebiscite has merit and is consistent with the government’s election promise to allow all Australians a say on whether or not marriage is redefined,” said Shelton.
“In the meantime, the Australian people expected all government members to honour their promise to the Australian people to ensure no change to the Marriage Act without the endorsement of the people.”
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is under pressure to accept the proposed postal plebiscite, Out in Perth has reported.
The Queensland branch of the Liberal-National Party has passed a motion supporting the plebiscite.
The motion was put forward by Nationals Senator Barry O’Sullivan, who called the proposed free vote in parliament “a recipe for disaster”.
O’Sullivan last week told colleagues who are pushing for a parliamentary vote to “shut the flip up” about marriage equality.
“It doesn’t matter whether it’s the behaviour of selfish individuals who want to just be disruptive or whether it’s individuals pursuing specific issues in a manner that’s in conflict with the policies we took to the election,” he said.
“I’m saying to my colleagues, you need to shut the flip up.”
Alex Greenwich from the Equality Campaign highlighted that the Senate had already made it crystal clear that the only way to deliver marriage equality was through a vote in parliament.
“Any attempt to hold a non-binding and voluntary postal plebiscite will be seen as a pointless political trick to override role of the parliament and delay the settled will of the Australian people,” he said.
Just.equal spokesperson Rodney Croome said a postal plebiscite would be biased against marriage equality.
“A postal vote will favour the ‘no’ case because younger voters, who are more likely to support marriage equality, are less likely to return their voluntary postal ballots,” said Croome.
“The only legitimate path forward is a vote in parliament where all members are able to vote according to their conscience.”
Latest polls show a majority of Australians support marriage equality, with 72 per cent of 18- to 34-year-olds in favour of same-sex marriage.