Despite Malcolm Turnbull’s support of same-sex marriage, his rise to Prime Minister has not changed the Government’s plan to hold a plebiscite on marriage equality.
This is a plebiscite that would cost Australian taxpayers $160 million, and it is an issue that 72% Australians already support.
So, in an exclusive with Mamamia, the Australian Marriage Equality organisation have shared their latest video challenging Turnbull’s decision to proceed with a $160 million plebiscite.
It’s no surprise that when people find out the associated cost, most can compile an instant list of issues far more worthwhile to invest the millions in.
“I’ve counted about 50 homeless people here, already, so there’s a start,” one man said.
Among others, people put forward childcare, education, green energy, or healthcare. Perhaps one of those will take the Prime Minister’s fancy?
National Director of Australian Marriage Equality, Rodney Croome, commented, “The video highlights growing concern in the community about the high and unnecessary cost of a plebiscite at a time when essential services are being cut.
“Recent polls have shown that when people become aware of the cost, support for a plebiscite plummets.”
Croome also highlighted not just the financial effects of a plebiscite, but the emotional toll it could take on the population.
“There is also concern in the community about how divisive a plebiscite could be, the damage it could do to the mental health of young gay people, and the fact it is not binding on politicians.
“Our call on the government is to abandon the plebiscite and resolve the issue as quickly as possible in parliament.”
The Australian public aren’t the only ones flabbergasted at the idea of spending $160 million on the plebiscite. Faith leaders from across the country have criticised Turnbull’s decision and urged him to reconsider.
Human rights lawyer and Jesuit priest Father Frank Brennan wrote in an open letter to the Prime Minister, “A plebiscite on this issue is a waste of time and risks turning very nasty, especially now that both you the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition support same sex marriage…
“Any plebiscite will be a costly unproductive exercise. It will also cause confusion and delay for those proposing a referendum for constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians.”
The Australian Marriage Equality organisation is urging you to share this video and tell our Prime Minister of the thousands of issues we could spend $160 million on instead.
As the video says:
“Gay marriage is just a normal standard procedure, nowadays. We don’t need a plebiscite: just do it!”
What do you think we could spend $160 million on, instead?