Senate puts “people’s vote” into the hands of people
While the cross-party marriage equality bill is still live in the House of Representatives, the Senate has established an inquiry into any plebiscite that would be held on marriage equality.
“This brings discussions over a plebiscite from behind the closed doors of the Liberal and National party room out into the open,” said the Australian Greens LGBTIQ issues Senator Janet Rice.
“The rest of the world has left us behind, but Tony Abbott persists with his tricky delay tactics.
“We can’t allow the Prime Minister another disastrous Captain’s Pick on the wording or timing of a plebiscite.
“With the support of the Greens, Labor and members of the cross-bench, this inquiry gives the community the opportunity to have a say on the timing and form of any marriage plebiscite.
“We must not forget the loving couples who continue to suffer discrimination because they are unable to show their commitment to each other before their friends, their family and the law.”
Meanwhile the cross-party bill in the lower house is still a live option, with the House of Representatives set to debate the cross-party marriage equality bill on 7 September.
“The best way to remove discrimination from our marriage laws and get marriage equality in this country is through the Parliament,” Adam Bandt MP said.
“While the time for debate is short, this is a step in the right direction.”
“Love will prevail. Australia will have marriage equality. The Greens will make sure this discrimination is ended as soon as possible.”
Text of motion
Senator Rice: To move—That the following matter be referred to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report by 16 September 2015:
The matter of a popular vote, in the form of a plebiscite or referendum, on the matter of marriage in Australia, with particular reference to:
an assessment of the content and implications of a question to be put to electors;
an examination of the resources required to enact such an activity, including the question of the contribution of Commonwealth funding to the ‘yes’ and ‘no’ campaigns;
an assessment of the impact of the timing of such an activity, including the opportunity for it to coincide with a general election;
whether such an activity is an appropriate method to address matters of equality and human rights;
the terms of the Marriage Equality Plebiscite Bill 2015 currently before the Senate; and
any other related matters.
Media contacts: Senator Rice – Sam Drummond 0400 352 935
Adam Bandt MP – Adam Pulford 0429 109 054