Tanya Plibersek: I won’t rush marriage equality bill

Tanya Plibersek: I won’t rush marriage equality bill

DESPITE the growing number of countries legislating for same-sex marriage, deputy opposition leader Tanya Plibersek has told the Star Observer the “inevitable momentum” towards marriage equality in Australia could be set back years by going to a vote too early.

Plibersek also said Labor MPs should not be compelled to vote for same sex marriage, even though the policy is on the party’s official platform.

In February, Plibersek won approval from her Labor colleagues to introduce a private members bill to legalise gay marriage. A similar bill in 2012 was defeated when 56 MPs voted against the measure. Plibersek and current Labor leader, Bill Shorten, voted in favour.

Speaking yesterday, the Plibersek said the timing of any bill would be guided by marriage equality advocates.

“What I’ve promised is I won’t move without their agreement giving them time to lobby the other side to get an idea that, if there was a conscience vote, there would be a good chance of the bill passing,” she said.

“I’m not going to introduce it just to lose.”

The Sydney federal Labor MP drew parallels with the republic debate: “In the same way that losing the referendum vote was a real setback for the republican movement, I think introducing a bill knowing that it was going to fail would actually make people dejected and it would reduce what I think is the inevitable momentum towards marriage equality.”

Plibersek added that ideally, she would be looking for a Liberal MP to be “brave enough to break the mould,” and co-sponsor the bill.

As yet, no Liberal MP has stepped forward.

Despite marriage equality becoming official Labor policy in 2011, Plibersek said her colleagues should not be forced to vote for the measure: “There are people in the Labor Party who would like it to be a binding vote but it’s very difficult for us to argue for a conscience vote for the Liberal Party and then not have a conscience vote ourselves.”

She also said while official Liberal policy was against same-sex marriage, offering Labor MPs a free vote put pressure on the Liberals to do the same.

“What I would say to Tony Abbott is that it’s very important for someone who always talks about how the Liberal Party is somewhere your can exercise your conscience to grant a conscience vote on this,” she said.

However, Plibersek refused to be drawn on her thoughts towards a swathe of Labor MPs representing voters in suburban areas – including Parramatta’s Julie Owens and Chifley’s Ed Husic – who have both previously voted against gay marriage.

Party sources have told the Star Observer that while many outer suburban Labor MPs are personally relaxed about the issue, vocal lobby groups in their electorates have forced their hand.

Asked if, in hindsight, Labor should have moved faster on marriage equality when they had a clear majority under Kevin Rudd, Plibersek said she was proud of the party’s achievements.

“In Government we got rid of 85 discriminatory pieces of legislation and in every area of policy we did whatever we needed to remove discrimination in our laws,” she said.

“Can you ever say that anything’s enough if any discrimination at all exists? The ethical answer to that is no; the practical answer is our Government did more than any previous Government of Australia in terms of the volume of things that changed.”


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5 responses to “Tanya Plibersek: I won’t rush marriage equality bill”

  1. It cost thirty dollars for my Marriage Licence in New Zealand, and three days to issue. Almost the cost of a fishing licence here. Labor is a log on the road of equality, it delays the journey. Some forget this is the same party that introduced and supported the White Australia Policy. It has always been the party that made the barking bigot feel safe and comfortable, an important part of the family. It took over 50 years for Labor to even start the end of the rain rain of racial supremacist politicians. It has not even begun to get rid of the heterosexual supremacist, they are still a welcome part of the Labor family, and part of Bill Shortens power comes from their support. So of course Labor cannot offer a binding vote, not while unions Godfathers have a greater say then rank and file members choosing Bill Shorten, over Albo. Not while Labor prefers Union slush funds select members, over ordinary members with stars in their eyes for a better Australia, those who hope for a fair go.

    • The ALP are traitors to GLTBI people. Remember the ALP are filled with extremist feminists who could be described as ‘toxic’, as one of their feminist heroes recently so described transgender human beings! Gillard was a nasty piece of works and please do not add to those women trying to reinvent that homophobic, anti-human rights, social justice, fake leftist monster!

  2. Well then Tanya, so you will not “rush” the gay marriage bill hey!

    Well then – I will not at the 2016 or 2017 next federal election go and “rush” and vote for you or your Labor mates then hey!

    Vote 1 Australian Sex Party (ASP)!

  3. Australia still debating gay marriage and still banning it in 2014 – you have to be kidding me right, well what a joke both the Labor and Liberal parties are then still in a 1914 time warp and world war three is coming too!

    Well then Tanya Plibersek, you and your useless Labor colleagues (as well as the other useless dickhead Tony Abbott and his bigoted Liberal colleagues) can all go and get fucked and I will vote for the Australian Sex Party (ASP) then OK!

  4. ” MPs should not be compelled to vote for same sex marriage.”

    Well I won’t be compelled to treat others equally too then, OK? Oh, wait, then I’d be racist. Such a double standard isn’t it? It’s not OK to have inequality for all people… unless they’re gay.

    Over it.