Sadly, I write this article to announce that the same-sex marriage bill introduced by Labor MP Stephen Jones was defeated in the lower house this afternoon. 42 votes to 98… The ACL issued a seriously mis-titled media release (ACL welcomes end of marriage debate) today in response. “I would like to thank the Opposition for keeping its election promise and for all those members of Labor who, as a matter of conscience, voted to ensure that marriage remained between a man and a woman,” Mr Wallace said. “ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace said it had been a long debate and he believed the vast majority of Australians were keen to move on”. This is true. We are keen to move on. We want you to stop perverting democratic process and permit this bill which has majority public support to pass. This is not the end of the marriage debate. In fact…
Debate continues over the Marriage Equality Amendment (No 2) 2012. I’ll be doing another highlights/lowlights article over the next couple of days…
A little more encouragingly, Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi has resigned as Abbott’s personal parliamentary secretary after incredible (and justified) backlash over comments that legislating for marriage equality could lead to demands to legalise bestiality and polygamy. The Liberal leader stated “They are views that I don’t share. They are views that many people will find repugnant,” and that Bernardi had made “ill-disciplined comments” and “had compounded the offence by repeating the comments on radio this morning.”
The result of a conversation between Bernardi and Abbott? Bernardi’s resignation as secretary – he still holds his Seat in the Senate. Credit where credit is due however, Bernardi’s departure has created enough space that it requires two members to fill his shoes.
Abbott further states that “While I have consistently advocated a position that the Coalition should keep its recent election commitment to maintain marriage as a union between a man and a woman, I will not tolerate comments that are offensive to people in same-sex relationships,” and that “While the Coalition has a policy position not to support changes to the Marriage Act, the Coalition has a proud history of opposition to discrimination in any form and as Leader of the Opposition, I will not have this record undermined.”
Thanks to the Sydney Morning Herald for having the best of the Bernardi Story in one convenient place!