The Prime Minister’s Office refused to support Attorney-General George Brandis’s commitment to hold a same-sex wedding referendum this year. A government spokeswoman stated that the government is “committed” to holding a referendum after the elections. The timing depends on when the elections are held.
Brandis predicted that a reelected Turnbull government would hold the promised referendum this year on same-sex relationships.
He said that the bill to allow for a popular vote will be introduced in the new Parliament early. We plan to hold the referendum before the end of this year.
The rapid timetable makes it more likely that an election will be held sooner than later, whether it is a double dissolution election or a regular election.
Malcolm Turnbull says he is expecting a full-term – August, September, or October – election. A late election would leave no time for a referendum.
Brandis’ response, when asked if, in the event of a successful referendum, same-sex unions would be legislated as early as possible by the new Parliament, reinforces this point. He said: “I expect that it will be legislated before the end of this calendar year.”
Turnbull’s timetable suggests that, after he receives his popular mandate, he will be eager to move quickly on his preferred agenda. However, he is unable to do so because of the commitments he made to conservatives within his party as well as to the Nationals.
The same-sex marriage referendum this year would also help to keep the Indigenous Recognition Referendum on track for May 2017. This timetable would be impacted if it were moved to the beginning of next year.
Bill Shorten, the leader of the opposition, has promised that a Labor-led government will legislate same-sex marriages within 100 days.
Mark Dreyfus and Terri Butler (shadow parliamentary secretary for Shorten) said in a joint statement that Turnbull Liberals’ decision to spend A$160m on a plebiscite has “exposed the lengths Malcolm Turnbull will go to appease the far-right wings of his party.” The legalization of same-sex relationships could be implemented as soon as now, according to the group. “This is the majority desire of Australians.”
Brandis said to Sky that he now personally supports same-sex relationships – “a stance I have developed over the years.”
He compared his position to that of British Premier David Cameron. Brandis noted that David Cameron had famously stated that he supported the same-sex union not because he is a conservative but because he is a conservatism.
Marriage” is a fundamental institution of society. I believe it’s important for the fundamental institutions to reflect the actual values in society.” We might consider that treating gay people equally is one of the basic values of Australian society.
The government announced a schedule a day after Turnbull, who has attended Mardi Gras many times in Sydney. Brandis said that it was the largest annual event in Turnbull’s Wentworth constituency, and it was both good and unremarkable for him to be there.
Brandis reiterated that a change in law would protect churches from being forced to perform ceremonies against their beliefs. We’re changing the civil definition of marriage. The Marriage Act currently states that marriage is between two men and women.
Brandis met with stakeholders, both on the “yes” side and the “no,” including churches in recent weeks. He said that they wanted a fair, transparent process.