The Labor Party has pledged to block the Government’s plan for a $170 million plebiscite on same-sex marriage. This effectively kills off the proposal as without the support of Labor and the Greens, the bill is certain to fail in the Senate.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten announced Tuesday that Labor could not "in good conscience" support such a "shocking waste of money" and cited "overwhelming" evidence of the harm that the plebiscite would cause members of the LGBTI community.
Despite the predictions that the bill will fail, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull seems to be refusing to concede defeat, saying the Senate would deal with the bill accordingly, but did not comment on where the matter would go from there. He would not answer questions on whether the matter would be put to a free vote among parliamentarians.
In a press conference Bill Shorten talked about Labor’s decision to block the bill in the Senate.
“Having met these families, having listened to their stories, I could not in good conscience recommend that we support the plebiscite on marriage equality,” he said.
“Children do not need to go to school ... And have the integrity of their parent’s relationship challenged.”
Mr Shorten said the caucus had unanimously resolved to oppose the marriage plebiscite.
“This country does not have the right in a plebiscite to pass judgment on the marriage and relationships of our fellow Australians.”
Marriage equality groups and the LGBTI community has welcomed the killing off of the plebiscite.
Mr Shorten has hastened to add that Labor would now be working towards its preferred model of achieving marriage equality, a free vote in parliament and he has promised Labor will be "pressing our case in days and weeks to come."
“"There is more than one door to open to achieve marriage equality," Mr Shorten told reporters in Canberra.
"The easiest way is the way which this Parliament has done for a hundred years - legislate, debate it."
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