Opposition leader Bill Shorten: ‘Marriage equality, let’s make it a reality, let’s just get on with it.’
Australia’s opposition party has blocked government’s plans for a plebiscite on same-sex marriage.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnball’s conservative coalition government needed the support of the Labour party to get legislation through the senate to hold a national vote on marriage equality on 11 February.
But Labour has said a vote would only trigger a divisive public debate and delay the issue even further.
‘The experts have unequivocally explained to Labour that the plebiscite would cause harm to gay and lesbian people particularly but not exclusively young people,’ opposition leader Bill Shorten said.
‘Marriage equality, let’s make it a reality, let’s just get on with it.’
A July 2016 poll found 48% of respondents stated they would support a plebiscite. However, this dropped to 35% support when respondents were told the plebiscite was not legally binding and dropped further to 25% when the $160 million expected cost was raised.
Another poll, conducted in August, found 57% of Australians would vote on favor of same-sex marriage. Only 28% said they would vote ‘no’ and 15% were unsure.