Australian Marriage Equality had this reaction to the disappointing news yesterday that the Liberal Government had voted by a majority to retain the proposal of a plebiscite on marriage equality in Australia, rather than allowing a conscience vote by MPs.
“Marriage equality can and should be a unifying moment for our country. But rather than doing their jobs by voting, this Government has again decided to delay, distract and divide Australia.
It didn’t have to be this way. There is a bill in Parliament they could have voted on this week. As we know, a vote in Parliament is the only way to achieve marriage equality in Australia. The High Court has settled this. The Senate backs this — and they will again.
Over the last few months, hundreds of thousands of Australians have taken action for marriage equality. And they will keep taking action until every Australian is equal under the law.
Parliament needs to get on, do its job, vote for marriage equality and deliver on the will of the Australian people.
Mathias Cormann, Deputy Leader in the Senate, said of the vote:
“The Liberal party room resolved to maintain our commitment to give all Australians the opportunity to have a say whether or not the definition of marriage should be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry”.
Bill Shorten, Leader of the Opposition in Australia, tweeted:
“This is ridiculous, disappointed for so many Australians that their Prime Minister has again let them down”.