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Plebiscite on gay marriage. Why and why not?

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stui magpie 

suge min pikk


Joined: 03 May 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 6:22 pm
Post subject: Plebiscite on gay marriage. Why and why not?Reply with quote

I'm not doing a poll deliberately, I'm interested in people's opinions.

Leaving aside the politics of why Turnbull wants to do it and why Labor has been opposing it (cos that's politics) there's some reasonably valid arguments on both sides of the debate.

In my opinion, holding the plebiscite provides a legitimacy of outcome that you don't get when the government just legislates something. Legislation is overturned and modified all the time.

Like it or not, there are a number of people who don't agree with gay marriage, and simply vilifying them by calling them homophobic, redneck or insulting their intelligence (which are the standard tactics) won't change that. Nor will legislating for something without what is clear evidence that the majority agree with it.

Opponents of the plebiscite will point to the potential for divisive and, yes, even genuine homophobic comments and that's a reasonable prediction based on history.

But what about the opportunity of the pro side for education?

Won't those same comments be made if legislation was just pushed through?

Is the opposition to having a public debate just a form of censorship?

Thoughts?

NB, can we try to keep the politics out of this and address the issue?

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Morrigu Scorpio

Saving one animal may not change the world, but surely for that one animal the world will change forever!


Joined: 11 Aug 2001
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 6:44 pm
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My attitude is pretty simple - I don't agree with the plebiscite as:

1. It is a serious waste of public money
2. It is non binding so what's the point if politicians can ignore the result
3. I think it will be divisive and get nasty as all the God botherers will be out in force and the LGBT will understandly respond.
4. No amount of education will change the opinions of those that are opposed to it especially on religious grounds
5. I don't know why as a heterosexual I should get to vote on the personal lifestyle choices of homosexuals

And the most important reason is that we didn't get a vote or a say when John Howard changed the Marriage Act in 2004 to include a definition of marriage as the `voluntarily entered-into union of a man and a woman to exclusion of all others'.

If hadn't of done this we would not require a plebiscite or a vote!!

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What'sinaname 



Joined: 29 May 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 6:55 pm
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I can't believe the LGBT community can be so stupid. Haven't they seen how horrific marriage is? And why do they think that their marriage will be any better?

As a species, we are rather thick not to learn from previous generations. Why we keep marrying and breeding is beyond me?
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regan is true fullback 



Joined: 27 Dec 2002
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 7:12 pm
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Fortunately it looks like the question is academic as Hinch Labor and the Greens will gang up to defeat the Plebiscite in the Senate, which will jettison it like Gareth Evans' unlamented bill of rights (remember that?).

Plebiscites and referenda have a very murky history in this country. The only thing that got up was the national song which changed Tony Abbott's favourite tune "God save the quoon" into nobody's favourite tune "Advance Australia Fair". The Land of Hope and Glory Brigade still refuse to bow to history and still sing God save quoonie at the drop of a Charles and Di commemorative tea cup. It still took 8 years and 2 changes of government to get our national song changed, plebiscite or not...

Referendums only get up with bipartisan support. 3 referendums got through in 1977, in spite of a concerted campaign by Joh Bejelke Peterson, which killed off referenda number 4. Plebiscites less so, but if our instinct is to vote no or in this case, not vote at all, who is to say whether this thing will go down in flames.

Why do conservative toys - 86 billion $ for quoonie, the F 111, the high court building, and this ridiculous waste of money have far less scrutiny than lefty proposals such as schools and hospitals?

Nobody wants to go back to the polls after what we went through this year. Save the money. If Hanson and the Libs combine to kill off a gay marriage bill in the senate, they will do it anyway after a plebiscite.


Last edited by regan is true fullback on Fri Aug 26, 2016 7:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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stui magpie 

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Joined: 03 May 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 7:17 pm
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Morrigu wrote:
My attitude is pretty simple - I don't agree with the plebiscite as:

1. It is a serious waste of public money
2. It is non binding so what's the point if politicians can ignore the result
3. I think it will be divisive and get nasty as all the God botherers will be out in force and the LGBT will understandly respond.
4. No amount of education will change the opinions of those that are opposed to it especially on religious grounds
5. I don't know why as a heterosexual I should get to vote on the personal lifestyle choices of homosexuals

And the most important reason is that we didn't get a vote or a say when John Howard changed the Marriage Act in 2004 to include a definition of marriage as the `voluntarily entered-into union of a man and a woman to exclusion of all others'.

If hadn't of done this we would not require a plebiscite or a vote!!


The howard thing is part of the point. Legislation with nothing to support it can be changed.

As far as point 5 goes, a same sex couple already get all the same rights AFAIK as other couples who aren't married, so it's not so much about lifestyle choices for mine as about the legal institution of marriage. It's an act of parliament.

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David Libra

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Joined: 27 Jul 2003
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 7:21 pm
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As someone who's unequivocally in favour of same-sex marriage, I can see both sides of the argument. On the one hand, it's clearly unnecessary; opinion polls have been showing that the vast majority of people support it for the best part of a decade, and this is the same kind of polling data that the last two governments have based their decision to knife sitting prime ministers on. So there's no real ambiguity here; the populace supports it, and so it should be the role of parliament to reflect that public support.

Both parties have been squibbing this issue for years, and what's happened now is just a complete farce. It should be voted on in parliament next week and legislated there's no need to make this some kind of special issue that requires a plebiscite.

Having said all that, if we must have a plebiscite on this, then I don't think it's the end of the world. I agree with Stui that there will be an added finality to this decision (though there's no reason why a parliamentary vote would have been illegitimate) and I think a public vote in support of it will be a beautiful thing in its own way. I do hear the concerns of the LGBTI community about what the no campaign might unleash, and for that reason perhaps the government should make the call to not fund either side of the debate and just run bare bones ads informing people that the plebiscite is happening.

I agree with Guy Rundle though that the gay community have made a substantial PR blunder in going so hard against the plebiscite, and I really hope they don't shoot the cause in the foot. I'm concerned by reports that Labor and the Greens might vote down the plebiscite in the senate no, it shouldn't be happening, but blocking it may delay things even more.

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Last edited by David on Fri Aug 26, 2016 7:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Morrigu Scorpio

Saving one animal may not change the world, but surely for that one animal the world will change forever!


Joined: 11 Aug 2001
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 7:26 pm
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But the plebiscite is not binding so even if the majority vote yay the politicians can still vote nay and we remain status quo - majority supports but it is still prohibited Confused
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HAL 

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 7:30 pm
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What specifically brings prohibited to mind?
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stui magpie 

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 7:41 pm
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Morrigu wrote:
But the plebiscite is not binding so even if the majority vote yay the politicians can still vote nay and we remain status quo - majority supports but it is still prohibited Confused


yes it's not binging, but it's the ultimate opinion poll and any party that chooses to ignore the outcome would do so with an obvious mandate against them.

Correct me if I'm wrong but was the Brexit vote legally binding or did they just action it because of the majority vote? I can't recall and I CBF looking it up.

And I agree with David about the Greens opposition shooting themselves in the foot. It makes them look like they're running scared that people may not agree with their view and don't want confirmation.

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David Libra

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 7:52 pm
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It's actually Labor, not the Greens, who are making the most noises about blocking it in the Senate I thought both would make a big song and dance about the plebiscite prior to the election and then quietly back it when the bill turned up, but I'm starting to wonder if they're serious about jettisoning it. The Greens look like they could go either way at the moment, but remember that SSM has been their issue longer than anyone else's and they have a lot riding on getting it through. Let's hope they don't stuff it up.

If the plebiscite goes down in flames, the big winners will be Cory Bernardi and the Australian Christian Lobby. All they ever wanted was to stall the implementation of this for as long as possible. I can't believe that SSM supporters would see further delay as a victory, particularly when it's quite possible the government could kick the issue off the table altogether.

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stui magpie 

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 7:56 pm
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David wrote:
It's actually Labor, not the Greens, who are making the most noises about blocking it in the Senate I thought both would make a big song and dance about the plebiscite prior to the election and then quietly back it when the bill turned up, but I'm starting to wonder if they're serious about jettisoning it. The Greens look like they could go either way at the moment, but remember that SSM has been their issue longer than anyone else's and they have a lot riding on getting it through. Let's hope they don't stuff it up.

If the plebiscite goes down in flames, the big winners will be Cory Bernardi and the Australian Christian Lobby. All they ever wanted was to stall the implementation of this for as long as possible.


Incorrect. The Greens have said they will block it. Here's a news source you might not argue with.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/aug/26/greens-block-same-sex-marriage-plebiscite

Labour is yet to make an official announcement other than Shortens political posturing. If Labour join the greens on this, it's an opportunity lost because of people playing politics on all sides.

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David Libra

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 7:59 pm
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I hadn't seen that, thanks. I'm fine for them to go down this path if it results in a parliamentary vote, but $, it's a dangerous game. Really don't think they've made the right call here.
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stui magpie 

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 8:04 pm
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There won't be a parliamentary vote because of Politics.

Even if Turnbull could convince the majority of the Libs that it was right to do it by parliamentary vote, he'd have zero chance of getting agreement to do so and be seen to be forced by the greens and Labour to do it.

They'll just stick on "we offered a plebiscite, you blocked it, it's on you"

Nothing will happen until a change of government except more posturing all round, wasted opportunity.

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regan is true fullback 



Joined: 27 Dec 2002
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 8:06 pm
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Stui magpie said:
Quote:
yes it's not binding, but it's the ultimate opinion poll and any party that chooses to ignore the outcome would do so with an obvious mandate against them.

This is not England, and the British constitution is not written down as such, it can be changed by a simple majority of parliament. The republic referendum is a classic example of a plebiscite type situation, big majority at the constitutional convention, voted for by the voters and taxpayers of Australia, can come undone by a concerted conservative campaign.

The referendum failed dismally, in spite of the monarchists being a small in numbers nuisance at the constitutional convention. They won. Their argument was as ridiculous as Bernardi's but they won. They totally ignored public opinion and "mandates" and thus we are still governed by a hereditary family who live twelve thousand miles away.
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stui magpie 

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 8:23 pm
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regan is true fullback wrote:
Stui magpie said:
Quote:
yes it's not binding, but it's the ultimate opinion poll and any party that chooses to ignore the outcome would do so with an obvious mandate against them.

This is not England, and the British constitution is not written down as such, it can be changed by a simple majority of parliament. The republic referendum is a classic example of a plebiscite type situation, big majority at the constitutional convention, voted for by the voters and taxpayers of Australia, can come undone by a concerted conservative campaign.

The referendum failed dismally, in spite of the monarchists being a small in numbers nuisance at the constitutional convention. They won. Their argument was as ridiculous as Bernardi's but they won. They totally ignored public opinion and "mandates" and thus we are still governed by a hereditary family who live twelve thousand miles away.


IIRC the failure was because of the republicans to put forward a coherent model of what the republic would look like, with massive infighting among republicans about which model would be best.

it's all about the question you ask people to vote on.

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