The Federal Government’s plan to continue with a plebiscite on same-sex marriage after the next election is a disappointing delaying tactic, according to Wagga-based advocate Sarah Adcock.
Ms Adcock, the vice-president of Wagga’s Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) branch, admits she was hopeful of a change in policy with Malcolm Turnbull’s elevation to the nation’s top job.
“His statements, and this is not unique to Malcolm Turnbull, of being in favour of a conscience vote don’t have any bearing on his actions in parliament,” she said.
“When it came down to it, he’s more worried about politics in parliament than leadership in our country and the same can be said of other local members in their electorates.”
The Prime Minister is a noted supporter of legalising same-sex marriage, leaving the door open to a change in policy before he confirmed the government would proceed with a plebiscite as planned.
Mr Turnbull in parliament this week has defended holding a plebiscite as the best way to solve the same-sex marriage debate as the most democratic solution to the issue as it would give all voters a say.
However, Ms Adcock believes sticking with the plebiscite proposal is merely a tactic to “pander” to the Coalition’s conservative fringes.
“If you did this with every decision in parliament you’d never get anything done,” she said.
“Why is this one being singled out? These extreme views are infiltrating policy and this plebiscite is just about stalling and undermining the process.”
Member for Riverina Michael McCormack, a strident opponent of legalising same-sex marriage, believes putting the vote to the population is the right way to resolve the issue.
“The plebiscite is the right thing to do,” he said.
“That means everyone will get their say. My vote will only be as equal as everyone else’s.
“If people want same-sex marriage, make sure they vote that way when the plebiscite occurs – if they don’t want same-sex marriage, vote against it.”
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