One of the issues currently dominating the political discourse of Australia is whether or not the country should legalise same-sex marriage. The actual substance behind this discussion is not the question in most people’s minds, as poll after poll has shown a healthy majority of Australians in support of marriage equality. Indeed, in recent weeks the case has become even more overwhelming as, although opponents of equality often cite their sincerely held religious beliefs, a poll by Galaxy Research found that a majority of Christians in Australia supported equal marriage. Rather than policy substance, the debate has shifted to how equality is introduced. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said that there will be a non-binding postal vote plebiscite on the issue and some have since argued that such a vote should be boycotted. I would strongly recommend not to do that.
Despite countries across the world legalizing same-sex marriage, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott is still passionately committed to being on the wrong side of history. In a joint meeting of the Coalition parties, MPs voted to deny a free vote on the issue of same-sex marriage in this parliamentary session, thus appearing to prevent Australia from having marriage equality for same-sex couples until August 2016 at the earliest.
With Abbott’s favourability consistently below 50%, reaching a low of 24% in February, and with around 68% of the Australian public supporting the legalization of same-sex marriage, Mr Abbott is sticking to his homophobic principles at the expense of electoral success. If rapid progress on this issue is to take place the Australian people need to throw the Coalition out of government and send Tony Abbott back to Warringah.