AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Shorten to Turnbull: You’re Personally Responsible for ‘Every Hurtful Bit of Filth’ Unleashed By Public Debate

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By Politicoscope August 10, 2017 15:56

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“I hold you responsible for every hurtful bit of filth that this debate will unleash, not because the Prime Minister has said it, not because he agrees to it, he clearly doesn’t. But because the Prime Minister has licensed this debate,” Mr Shorten said, in a reference to the fact that lobbyists on both sides of debate won’t be bound by the safeguards of the Commonwealth Electoral Act, as the Australian Bureau of Statistics is conducting the survey.

“In two years of a prime ministership defined by moral cowardice, this a new low.”

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AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Shorten to Turnbull: You’re Personally Responsible for ‘Every Hurtful Bit of Filth’ Unleashed By Public Debate

Bill Shorten says Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will be personally responsible for “every hurtful bit of filth” unleashed by public debate on the same-sex marriage postal survey, while confirming Labor will pull out all the stops and campaign for a “yes” vote. In a passionate speech after question time – which drew a standing ovation from his Labor colleagues – the Opposition Leader put to bed suggestions the federal ALP could boycott the vote and urged Australians who support same-sex marriage to vote in the non-compulsory survey.

The decision to throw support behind a “yes” vote had not been taken lightly by the ALP and will likely be followed by the Greens, unions, business and at least some same-sex marriage advocates, such as Australians 4 Equality. The ALP held a series of meetings with same-sex marriage advocates on Wednesday to discuss tactics and strategy about the campaign. It has also been discussed at a series of working groups that included the ALP leadership group and other MPs on the front line of the campaign for marriage equality, such as legal affairs spokesman Mark Dreyfus and shadow assistant minister for equality Terri Butler.

In his speech, Mr Shorten unleashed fierce criticism of the government’s plan to hold the postal survey – effectively a “plan B” approach because Parliament has twice blocked a compulsory plebiscite.

“I hold you responsible for every hurtful bit of filth that this debate will unleash, not because the Prime Minister has said it, not because he agrees to it, he clearly doesn’t. But because the Prime Minister has licensed this debate,” Mr Shorten said, in a reference to the fact that lobbyists on both sides of debate won’t be bound by the safeguards of the Commonwealth Electoral Act, as the Australian Bureau of Statistics is conducting the survey.

“In two years of a prime ministership defined by moral cowardice, this a new low.”

“He [Mr Turnbull] is giving his blessing to billboards, websites, pamphlets, TV advertising and online material. It will vilify and demean LGBTI Australians and their children,” Mr Shorten said.

Mr Shorten said he could understand why LGBTI people receiving the ballot would want to “chuck it in the bin” but urged them not to do so.

“Vote ‘yes’ and make sure your friends and relatives and colleagues and classmates and teammates vote ‘yes’, too. Get your name on the electoral roll today. Make your voice heard. Voting ‘yes’ is not about endorsing this process, it is about refusing to walk past our fellow Australians when they need us. This is my message for business leaders, sporting leaders and community groups. It is time to fight for equality.”

In the event that the “no” vote succeeded, Mr Shorten said a future Labor government would still press on with its promise to legislate same-sex marriage.

Labor’s decision to campaign for a “yes” vote comes despite the federal opposition opposing the postal survey, which will be conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, not the Electoral Commission, and cost $122 million.

Marriage equality campaigners Just.Equal and PFLAG have announced a High Court challenge to the plebiscite, and the Equality Campaign is still considering a similar challenge, pending legal advice.

Australians 4 Equality director Tiernan Brady said his group would pursue “every avenue to prevent this unnecessary, non-binding, massively expensive, dangerous precedent-setting plebiscite”, including a High Court challenge.

“It’s not a question of whether supporters of marriage equality will campaign – the have been campaigning for years and will continue to – that’s why we are at 65 per cent support,” he said.

“LGBTI people, their family and their friends are never going to give up and walk away until marriage equality is a reality.”

Advocates for the law change believe now Labor has declared its hand – which will likely be followed by unions and business getting behind the “yes” vote it will be almost impossible for members of the gay community to stay out of it.

The Greens, similarly, have not yet said if they will boycott the plebiscite but Greens leader Richard Di Natale said that supporters of same-sex marriage should enrol in the event the vote goes ahead.

The key dates for the plebiscite are September 12, when the Bureau of Statistics begins posting out ballots; November 7, when responses have to be received and November 15, when the result will be announced.

If a “yes” vote is successful, there will be two weeks left before the end of the parliamentary year for a vote to take place in the Parliament.

Mr Turnbull said on Thursday that his government would not “facilitate the introduction of a private members’ bill on this matter unless the Australian people have given their support through a ‘yes’ vote through this national votethat we are now undertaking”.

Former Liberal prime ministers Tony Abbott and John Howard have already indicated they will play a prominent part in advocating for a ‘no’ vote.

Mr Abbott has said Australians should reject same-sex marriage if they want to protect religious freedom and reject political correctness.

– S M H


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Politicoscope
By Politicoscope August 10, 2017 15:56

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There are more readers worldwide reading the Politicoscope daily news content than ever before. Unlike many other news media organisations that charge their readers subscription fees for the same daily news content and features we offer you for free, we do not charge all our readers to pay any fee. We depend on online advertising to generate the revenues to fund all these great news content and exclusive features provided to you for free. Currently, advertising revenues are quickly falling which is affecting our ability to offer you free online news content.
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