The Potential of the Plebiscite

iStock_86304171_XLARGE.jpgAustralians must have a voice when major, national issues are up for discussion. One such important issue is marriage.  The people must decide whether they will accept the consequences of allowing marriage to be “redefined,” or whether they will uphold society’s foundational institution as it has always been.

Interestingly, among those who support same-sex marriage, there is division with regards to holding a national plebiscite. Some are calling the plebiscite a costly, “unnecessary” policy, while others recognise that a national vote could in fact “put marriage to bed”. As Sky News reported, Brisbane MP Trevor Evans (who is openly gay), says the plebiscite would be “worth it” if it manages to settle the issue:

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has promised to hold a plebiscite on the matter, convinced if the nation votes in favour a same-sex marriage bill will sail through the parliament.

But the policy, which he inherited from his predecessor Tony Abbott, has been criticised as unnecessary, expensive and likely to lead to damaging campaigns aimed at same-sex couples and their children.

Mr Evans, who won the seat of Brisbane with a swing of 1.6 per cent against Labor challenger Pat O'Neill, who is also gay, believes the plebiscite would be 'totally worth it'.

'My take on it obviously is I'm an openly gay now member of the parliament, in fact possibly the first one ever elected in Queensland, and so this is a deeply personal and very important issue for me,' he told ABC radio on Monday.

'I think a plebiscite offers us a great future, like it did in Ireland, of comprehensively putting this issue to bed in a way where the community completely owns the result and politicians just have to toe the line.'

Only the people should resolve the issue of same-sex marriage. Opponents of the plebiscite will hide behind reasons such as “costs” and demean its importance by labelling it “unnecessary”. But the reality is, the people need to understand the consequences of both choices, and then decide the issue themselves. That is what plebiscite opponents truly fear: the people understanding the true consequences of same-sex marriage.

Marriage is not merely a union that unites a man and woman — it is the institution which supports the building block of society: the family. The Australian people must be able to express their choice on marriage through a fair vote. The plebiscite is “totally worth it,” but, more importantly, for the Australian people, it is completely necessary.

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