Image for Hey Tony, your MPs and voters want their say

Hey Tony, your MPs and voterswant their say

Tony Abbott’s MPs want to decide for themselves whether to vote for marriage equality or not – and are challenging the opposition leader to grant them a conscience vote on the issue, like Julia Gillard’s Labor Party has done.

And voters agree. A new Galaxy poll published in the Sunday Herald Sun today shows 77% of Coalition voters want the party to allow a conscience vote on same-sex marriage, and say it would be a “smart move” if Abbott allowed one.

“By allowing a conscience vote, Tony Abbott will represent the wishes of Coalition voters, prevent disunity in Coalition ranks, and be seen as upholding Coalition values of individual freedom,” says Australian Marriage Equality’s Alex Greenwich.

He says this is the first time in the party’s history that Liberal MPs have not been granted a conscience vote on a substantive policy issue when Labor MPs were granted one.

“The Liberal Party prides itself on allowing more freedom to their MPs than the Labor Party does, but on this issue Tony Abbott is turning his back on party tradition and liberal values,” Greenwich points out.

Abbott’s recent argument that allowing a conscience vote would somehow amount to a broken promise can be dismissed.

“Mr Abbott may have opposed marriage equality during the election campaign, but he did not rule out a conscience vote,” he adds.

Coalition figures who reportedly support a conscience vote include Joe Hockey, George Brandis, Christopher Pyne, Greg Hunt, Senator Nigel Scullion, Malcolm Turnbull, Barry O’Farrell, Simon Birmingham, Barnaby Joyce, Russell Broadbent, and former Howard Government minister, Amanda Vanstone.

Today’s newly-published Galaxy poll also shows that a majority of Australians are in favour of marriage equality, with only a third of voters against the reform.

Let the Liberal and National Parties know why marriage equality is important to you. Email them via Australian Marriage Equality’s website here.

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555Sean

555Sean said on the 20th May, 2012

I know I have said on a number of occasions on this site I am not convinced 'Marriage' is the right fit for gay/lesbian couples and I think Civil Unions would be a more appropriate term. To me, it is about couples being recognised if that is their desire without upsetting traditional values and drawing criticism from society in terms of homophobia. We have worked hard to be accepted in the community to this point and I would not like to see this cause inflame old prejudice, which I feel is a possibility. Given the polls are right, it does seem most people really don't care if same-sex couples do marry.

It is obvious the ALP are not going to pass the Bill whilst Julia Gillard is Prime Minister. The argument, Matt, puts here is sound. If Abbott were to allow a conscience vote, it is possible the Bill would receive enough votes to pass the Bill in the House; although there is still no guarantee. This is part of the reason I think it would be wise to compromise and seek Civil Unions first, as it would be easier for those against it to accept while achieving the same thing. I see that arguing over a word, marriage, could be a case of throwing the baby out with the bath water in this case. Labor have not committed in numbers that would support the success of the Bill. This goes against what they said prior to the last election. Another case of Labor lying to get your vote. They got your vote last time and still they refuse. Typical of the ALP in my view.

So, although I have my own views on this, I do know a lot of people would like to see it happen. I would like to see an outcome that makes people happy and comfortable; I don't think government should be involved in our love lives.

So, I do agree with Matt at this stage of the game. Write to the MP's (all or them, ALP and LNP) and let them know what you think and what you would like to see happen. Don't be abusive or hysterical in stating your case. Be calm and reasoned in your requests. Nobody likes people who are loud and demanding, its a real turnoff. Ali's antics were a good example of how not to win friends and influence people, doing more harm than good.

I do think if you ask nicely, and respectfully, you may be in with a chance. At the end of the day, it doesn't really concern me one way or the other because I like the fact I am different. I don't need to be the 'same' as everyone else. I love I live in a Country that does not want me hanged for being Gay. I respect other people may not like or understand me because I am different. I like the fact I am treated as an individual, regardless of my relationships, and think it would be better to move away from marriage in our modern society, not strengthen it.

At the end of the day, it is a choice to marry. I do understand some same-sex couples want the choice to marry, if that is what floats their boat. Perhaps it is time Gay and Lesbian couples were no longer 'out of the loop', protected by law financially and the government treated them as they do the majority of Australian's. Just remember, divorce is no fun and very expensive, I can assure you. This is why I say, be careful what you wish for. I think the only winners in this will ultimately be the lawyers and solicitors. But it is your livelihood and independence you want to risk for the sake of a word. Good luck.

NATEE

NATEE said on the 20th May, 2012

Blah blah blah blah blah!!! Honestly screw the whole notion of marriage and their institution they can have it. Why do I need some one to tell me it is ok to be with the person I love. As Penny Wong stated "I know what my family is worth" And I say it is worth everything :)

NATEE

NATEE said on the 20th May, 2012

Seriously two words to the conservative people of this nation "Grow up"

coast_boy_21

coast_boy_21 said on the 20th May, 2012

555Sean, if the Liberals won't support civil unions in QLD then I highly doubt the same party would support civil unions at the federal level. You see, they would not want to upset there beloved Campbell Newman who is the premier of QLD.

DavoJimbo

DavoJimbo said on the 21st May, 2012

"divorce is no fun and very expensive"

and gay, unmarried couples breaking up is so much less expensive than it would be if they were married?

Chizpurfles

Chizpurfles said on the 21st May, 2012

I just don't understand what the problem is. I think 555Sean is right though, because I always thought marriage is basically a religious ceremony, or at least it used to be, the church obviously wouldn't want any couples other than one man one woman but now that the religion is sort of gone, at least to a degree, I just don't get it.