All MPs should con­trib­ute to any Mar­riage Act change

The Weekend Australian - - COMMENTARY -

I find Trent Zim­mer­man’s com­ment it­self cu­ri­ous when he says it is “cu­ri­ous” that MPs op­pos­ing change now ex­pected “the right to de­ter­mine” any fi­nal leg­is­la­tion (“Ten­sions in­crease over ri­val SSM bill”, 10/11). The postal vote was free and elec­tive, but par­lia­ment was al­ways go­ing to de­ter­mine the changes to the Mar­riage Act.

Surely it is ax­iomatic that all par­lia­men­tar­i­ans now par­tic­i­pate in the de­bate over the de­tail of any pro­posed amend­ing leg­is­la­tion. Isn’t that the demo­cratic sys­tem in op­er­a­tion? For Zim­mer­man to call it “cu­ri­ous” in­di­cates more about his phi­los­o­phy than the proper work­ings of par­lia­ment. Jerome Paul, Bal­main, NSW

It does not sur­prise me that the mar­riage plebiscite ap­pears to be head­ing for a ma­jor­ity Yes vote. It has been ob­vi­ous for some time that most peo­ple see this is­sue as a sim­ple act of gener- os­ity with no ram­i­fi­ca­tions be­yond its im­me­di­ate de­clared aim — a no­brainer which means a de­ci­sion reached with­out any real thought. That’s the prob­lem: there are se­ri­ous con­se­quences, and they re­quire in­tel­li­gent con­sid­er­a­tion and can­not be sim­ply dis­missed.

Add to this cat­e­gory of the wellmean­ing but ill-in­formed, those who deny there will be ad­verse con­se­quences for free­dom of speech and re­li­gion when they re­ally mean they know there will be, but sim­ply don’t care.

A sig­nif­i­cant mi­nor­ity know ex­actly where this is head­ing, and will use any change in the law to fur­ther their cause, par­tic­u­larly through the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem. Who in their right mind would be­lieve that they will qui­etly dis­ap­pear and leave the rest of us alone once the law is on their side? Peter David­son, Ash­grove, Qld

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