The Courier-Mail

Plebiscite welcome on gay mar­riage ques­tion


RARELY have I heard Tony Ab­bott talk sense, but on Tues­day evening he ex­celled him­self on the sub­ject of gay mar­riage.

The Prime Min­is­ter sug­gested this con­tentious sub­ject should be put to the elec­torate in the form of a plebiscite or a ref­er­en­dum in the next term of Par­lia­ment ( C-M, Aug 12).

Hope­fully he will for­get about a ref­er­en­dum, as it would re­quire the ma­jor­ity of vot­ers in the ma­jor­ity of states for it to be passed.

A plebiscite is the way to go and, while not legally bind­ing, all politi­cians would have to agree that which­ever way the re­sult goes, they would back 50 per cent plus one or more of vot­ers’ wishes.

The plebiscite should not be held in the next term of Par­lia­ment.

The time to hold it is in con­junc­tion with the next elec­tion so the sub­ject can be put to bed once and for all. Sean Brown, Zillmere CON­GRAT­U­LA­TIONS to Tony Ab­bott on his in­ten­tion to al­low all Aus­tralian vot­ers to have a say on same-sex mar­riage.

For too long we have been dic­tated to by politi­cians who wish to force their view­points on us. Barry Ge­orge, Bray Park IT SEEMS that Tony Ab­bott has again stopped any progress on gay mar­riage.

He doesn’t re­alise what sort of wit­less game he is re­play­ing.

In the 1960s and early 1970s, John Gor­ton and Billy McMa­hon’s Lib­er­als prac­tised a par­tic­u­larly ob­scene form of dis­crim­i­na­tion. They forced young men to per­form the high­est duty of cit­i­zen­ship by be­ing con­scripted and sent to fight and die in Viet­nam, but would not al­low them the most ba­sic right – the vote.

Now Ab­bott’s Lib­er­als say gay cou­ples must meet all the obli­ga­tions of straight cou­ples who are mar­ried (taxes and so on), but may not have the same rights that go with mar­riage.

Ab­bott may blather all he likes about this. The more he talks, the more the vot­ers are turned off by his hypocrisy and un­nec­es­sary dis­crim­i­na­tion. He is driv­ing away huge num­bers of peo­ple whose first in­cli­na­tion would oth­er­wise be to vote Lib­eral. G.T.W. Agnew, Coop­ers Plains IF THE Fed­eral Par­lia­ment can’t agree on the same-sex mar­riage is­sue, I will vote “in­for­mal” at a ref­er­en­dum.

The is­sue has many pos­i­tive and neg­a­tive con­no­ta­tions, in­clud­ing free choice, re­li­gion, largely untested prac­ti­cal le­gal­i­ties such as di­vorce, and most perti­nently, the im­pact on any chil­dren af­fected by the union of parental fig­ures of the same gen­der.

This may be the era of so-called “equal­ity”, but it is a tan­gled web in­deed. Chris Banks, West End

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