I was struck by something the very excellent Margaret Morgan said regarding the marriage plebiscite and Turnbull’s continued commitment to it, and I’m absolutely convinced she’s right.
For all of Turnbull’s “I think Australia’s better than that” bollocks regarding whether or not hate groups will come out of the woodwork when the plebiscite is announced – and they will, because they already have – if he genuinely supported this issue the way that he’s been occasionally stating (only when asked) then here’s what he would have said:
“The tragedy in Orlando is a game changing event. The level of hatred and violence that the LGBTI community face is not just shocking, it is unacceptable, and Australia will not accept it. And in a demonstration that Australia will not stand by and give implicit support to hatred through silence, I have spoken to my opposition colleagues and confirmed that, regardless of the outcome on July 2, there will be a free vote on the multi-party marriage equality legislation introduced in 2015 by LNP MP Warren Entsch and Labor’s Terri Butler, with the support of the Greens and a coalition of independents, and I am confident that the Parliament of Australia will send the message that no matter who any Australian loves, if they wish to make a commitment to share their lives under the sanction and protections of marriage, they will have the support of their government and their nation. And in some small way, we we send the message around the world, to those that most need to hear it, that lives were not lost in vain, and that love will always be stronger than hate.”
I’d have cried with genuine joy. That would have seemed like leadership.
Instead, he said that his party “will keep their word” and spend $160 million on a national opinion poll that prominent members of his own party have made clear that they have no intention of respecting. Which is the opposite of leadership.
Posted by Andrew P Street on Facebook, Saturday, 18 June 2016.