It’s time for a vote on same-sex marriage

The federal government seems hellbent on making the same sex marriage debate much, much harder than it needs to be.

The simple – and most obvious – solution is for the MPs and senators to vote on legislation.

After all, that’s pretty much the entirety of their job. They're in the nation’s capital to make laws and take the country forward.

And yet when it comes to allowing men to marry men and women to marry other women, Malcolm Turnbull and his government seem compelled to wash their hands of any responsibility in this.

Instead, various members of government have been looking for the public to tell them what to do via a range of plebiscites.

Non-binding plebiscites, of course. Because despite them having to ask us to do their job for them, they still seem to want to reserve the right to ignore our response if they don’t like it.

The latest plebiscite idea is a postal vote which is seriously being considered, despite the fact it could be considered invalid and overturned by the High Court.

In recent weeks we’ve seen Coalition MPs shy away from answering questions on the issue of same-sex marriage, suggesting there is a range of other issues of far more importance to the country than that.

Which is thoroughly ridiculous – the federal Coalition turned it into an issue by the totally hamfisted way they’ve dealt with it.

If they had just said, “right, here’s the legislation, everyone's got a free vote. Let’s get into it”, then we would have had a decision one way or another a long, long time ago.

Instead, Mr Turnbull has been trying to keep everyone happy which, on a subject like this, is totally impossible.

It has resulted in frustration on the part of those in favour of gay marriage, endless delaying tactics by those opposed to it and a leader who looks more interested in remaining leader than doing the right thing.

Well, both he and the government have a chance on Monday to do the right thing, to do their damned jobs and agree to put this to a vote.

That’s because, on Monday morning, the cabinet will meet to specifically discuss the issue before taking it to the Coalition’s MPs and senators in the afternoon.

Which is weird – after what seems like years of debate on the issue – how can the cabinet need more time to discuss this?

The time for talking is over. It’s time the politicians did their job.

This story It’s time for a vote on same-sex marriage first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.


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