Fe­bru­ary vote on same-sex mar­riage

The Myanmar Times - - World -

AUS­TRALIA plans to hold a na­tional vote on Fe­bru­ary 11 on whether to al­low same-sex mar­riage, Prime Min­is­ter Mal­colm Turn­bull said yes­ter­day, de­spite crit­ics warn­ing it could un­leash ho­mo­pho­bia.

Mr Turn­bull went to July 2 elec­tions promis­ing ev­ery Aus­tralian could have their say on gay mar­riage via a plebiscite.

“Our job is to en­sure that the peo­ple have the op­por­tu­nity to ex­press their view and to do so in a man­ner that is fair and im­par­tial,” he said.

Mr Turn­bull said he would in­tro­duce a bill to par­lia­ment this week which he ex­pected would be passed by the lower house. But he ad­mit­ted it could be blocked by op­po­nents in the Se­nate, where the gov­ern­ment does not hold an out­right ma­jor­ity.

“There will be a plebiscite on the 11th of Fe­bru­ary un­less [op­po­si­tion La­bor leader] Bill Shorten de­cides to block it [in the Se­nate],” he said.

La­bor has not yet de­cided on the ref­er­en­dum, but Mr Shorten has de­scribed it as a “tax­payer-funded plat­form for ho­mo­pho­bia”. –

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