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Australia: Liberal leader Tony Abbott says no to equal marriage referendum at election

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  1. Hardly surprising that he says no, he knows what the likely outcome will be.

    Recent polls suggest that most Australians support equal marriage so no wonder he would be opposed to a referendum on the issue.

  2. JackAlison 29 Apr 2013, 5:32pm

    Its another way of the government abrogating the responsibility of carrying out their party platform which supports marriage equality..theyre going 2 try an wedge Abbott to make themselves look good.Labor’s bigotry and cowardice is far worse than the oppositions.

  3. There must be no public vote on equal civil rights – whether in September or next year.

    It is beyond offensive to hold a public vote on whether a minority deserves equal citizenship or not.

    1. de Villiers 29 Apr 2013, 7:51pm

      If a party puts it in their manifesto and a majority vote for that party, does it not lend democratic weight to the measure?

      1. Only if you consider equal civil rights subject to debate I suppose.

        I don’t think my standing as an equal citizen/subject of this country is up for debate.

      2. Neil Cameron 30 Apr 2013, 11:24pm

        It does lend democratic weight to it.
        However, the rights of a minority should never be put to the whim of the majority. The tyranny of the majority lies in its self serving emphasis with its own interests. Democratic populations are not rational, thinking & appraised of truth & fact.
        On LGBT rights, society’s truth is muddied by Deuteronomy, Leviticus & Sodom & Gomorrah. It is muddied by the natural means of procreation, by history, by the “ick” factor.
        But fighting for equality in the courts requires the LGBTI population to play the bad guy and attack & challenge the framework of day to day life. Attack marriage law, parental law, commercial law, Inheritance law, Insurance law, tax law.
        The lack of full equality has to be challenged in way that prevents the tyranny, but at the same time causes the least damage.
        Parliament / senate / congress etc offers that means. Professionals who fight the fight on society’s behalf in a structured, ordered manner.

    2. Harry Underwood 30 Apr 2013, 5:06am

      Then what of women’s suffrage referendums in which male citizens voted on whether women should be able to vote? That happened in most of the Western states in the U.S., plus Liechtenstein and Switzerland.

      1. Neil Cameron 30 Apr 2013, 11:41pm

        Women’s suffrage required men to agree to relinquish full control. Without full approval from those in power, suffrage would have failed.
        The same happened in South Africa in 1992. The old constitution gave whites full political control. Any transition to democracy could only succeed if the entire process was constitutional & complied with the rules. Failure to do that would have rendered the post apartheid government unconstitutional. Hence a constitutionally compliant whites only referendum was held, approving a new constitutional dispensation.
        LGBTI people are not fighting for the right to equally partake in the state, we already have that. We are fighting for the removal of unconstitutional barriers to full equality. We are fighting to eradicate unconstitutional errors in the law.
        Putting it to a referendum is effectively putting it to the population to determine whether the unconstitutional aspects of law should remain or not.

  4. Conservatives always want the people to vote on this issue unless they fear the people will vote FOR equality, then then DON’T want the people to vote, and no one else either.

  5. Colin (London) 30 Apr 2013, 12:00am

    Minority rights require understanding and acceptance that a small group of people are allowed that need to be flexed in order for them to be equal to society. This hurts no-one.

    The only people who are against Gay Marriage are the religious lot. Religion is on the decline so their ability to highjack the politican system should be reduced.

    Minority rights should be extended because it the right thing to do. Not for religious pressure groups and votes

    1. Colin (London) 30 Apr 2013, 12:03am

      Get over yourselves politicians…..This should not be political…..Rights for a small group of people who contribute massively to your country… Do the right thing please. It may be your daughter or son next

  6. Harry Underwood 30 Apr 2013, 5:10am

    The only issue with a civil rights referendum, I see, is that the control of relationship recognition, in countries like Australia and New Zealand, is in the hands of legislators. It is in halls of legislatures where these laws, and the messy result of marriage bans, are made. So why don’t elected legislators want to fix legislative messes, instead deferring to the public to make such decisions?

    1. Neil Cameron 1 May 2013, 12:05am

      Because Australias current politicians lack spine, and put their desire to win an election above all else. Even to the point of completely avoiding issues that have a hint of unpredictability in them.

  7. GingerlyColors 30 Apr 2013, 5:52am

    Interestingly, in Australia, voting is compulsory so if there was a referendum on marriage equality then everybody of voting age would have to take part as they did when they had a referendum on whether or not to become a republic. In that case 55% of the electorate voted to keep the Queen and because of the legal requirement to vote you cannot blame voter apathy for the result.
    It looks like a ‘yes’ vote for marriage equality would be a foregone conclusion which is why Tony Abbott opposes a referendum.
    As the rights of a minority should not really be put to a vote of the majority then the ball is now in Canberra’s court and it should be up to Parliament to decide. After all were Aboriginal rights subjected to referendums?

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