The Courier-Mail

Plebiscite welcome on gay marriage question

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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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