Australian government suggests postal vote on equal marriage as ‘sensible’
The Australian Immigration Minister has suggested that a postal public vote could be a “sensible” way to decide on the issue of same-sex marriage.
Peter Dutton said he was pushing for a postal vote on the issue of same-sex marriage, as it could mean it would go through without Parliamentary approval.
Legislation is not required to hold the postal plebiscite, so the Coalition Government could keep election commitments to hold the vote.
The Senate in Australia blocked the plebiscite last November.
Speaking to 2GB radio, Mr Dutton said: “Lots of us are working together to find a sensible approach through this Parliament.”
“We’ve got to deal with the reality of the Senate – the Senate knocked back the plebiscite,” he added.
The minister, who opposes same-sex marriage, said the federal government should stick to a promise to hold a vote on the issue before a vote is held in Parliament.
The proposed plebiscite has been criticised as costly and unnecessary by Australian equal marriage campaigners.
“We went to the last election with a policy saying that we support the current definition of marriage and that if there was to be a change we would need to go to a plebiscite,” he added.
“The plebiscite was a very clear and deliberate proposal within our election promise and we shouldn’t break that promise.
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“I don’t support walking away from our election pledge.”
Australia’s Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has reaffirmed his opposition to passing same-sex marriage without a public vote beforehand.
Right-wing Prime Minister Turnbull has refused to permit a free Parliamentary vote on equal marriage.
Last week, 20 heads of some of Australia’s largest companies penned a letter to Turnbull urging him to allow a free vote on the issue in Parliament.
However, the PM – who is thought to have made assurances to his Coalition’s anti-LGBT wing against any such move during his leadership bid – rebuffed any change.
Mr Turnbull told reporters: “Our policy on this is well-known, which we took to the election [last year].