A young Melbourne woman raised by a same-sex couple has written to Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, urging him to drop plans for a plebiscite on marriage equality and allow a free vote in Parliament instead.
In her open letter, Georgia Weymouth Large, wrote that during a plebiscite campaign,
“There will be advertisements that deem our families “un-natural” and the children of same-sex couples “disadvantaged”. There will be a substantial amount of abuse and harassment from people who do not want to see the plebiscite go in favour of marriage equality.”
“I have no doubt that the months and weeks leading up to the plebiscite will destroy lives. Not only those who feel personally attacked but also their loved ones who will be left with the bitter reminder that the leaders of their beloved nation let such a brutal debate cause harm to so many.”
In a letter responding to Ms Weymouth Large, Tamsyn Harvey, spokesperson for Attorney-General, George Brandis, wrote that “the Government does not condone any form of speech which incites hatred” (full text of letter, dated 30th March 2016, below).
Ms Weymouth Large appeared on the ABC current affairs program, Q&A, last month where she made the same point.
Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome, welcomed Ms Weymouth Large’s letter saying,
“In the ever-growing chorus of opposition to a marriage equality plebiscite, it is vital we hear the voices of the children of same-sex couples.”
“They remind us that not only that marriage equality is good for tens of thousands of Australian families, but that a plebiscite will potentially cause these families great harm.”
Responding to the Government’s disapproval of hate speech, Mr Croome said,
“I welcome the Government’s dim view towards hate speech, but the best way to limit the negative impact of hatred is to avoid a plebiscite altogether by going to a free vote instead.”
The Attorney-General’s answer and link to Georgia’s letter below: