ONE of the most contentious issues of the upcoming Federal Election is marriage equality and the Liberal Party’s proposed same sex marriage plebiscite.
The Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, is sticking to his guns on the issue, and said he will run the proposed national plebiscite on marriage equality only if the Coalition is returned to government on July 2.
Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten, has ditched the notion of a plebiscite in favour of a parliamentary vote held within the first 100 day of him becoming Prime Minister, that is if he becomes PM.
Even with the political bickering around same sex marriage, support networks for LGBTQI people within western Sydney say they’re not getting enough backing and funding from the government.
Brett Paradise, the Executive Director of the Twenty10 Association which runs the western Sydney LGBTQI support group Out West, says there isn’t enough help for the increasing population.
“Traditionally young people moved to the centre of Sydney to be around peers but that was 15 20 year ago when everything was a whole lot more affordable. These days it’s not possible. More and more people are staying around western Sydney because it is more affordable but the supports aren’t moving out with the people,” Mr Paradise said.
Politicians running in the upcoming election have voiced their opinions about the issue.
Liberal candidate for Greenway, Yvonne Keane, stuck hard to the party line saying in an email, “I, like the Government, believe a decision on same sex marriage should be made by a vote by all Australians via a plebiscite and my voice will count just as much as every elector in Greenway.”
MP for Greenway, Michelle Rowland, voted against marriage equality when it was first raised in the government, however she said she would vote in favour of it if it were introduced again. “Originally I voted no but I said
when it came up again I would consult the electorate,” Ms Rowland said.
“I did an online surveys and also did some outreach and I must say it came back pretty even, like for and against,” she said. “I’ve been looking into social inclusion and the way in which we accept people who are different, so I would actually find it quite difficult right now to reconcile a no vote, with a view that we need to be as inclusive of all Australians.”
Labor MP for Chifley, Ed Husic, is on the record stating he is in the affirmative for marriage equality in Australia.
It seems in this election that the issue of LGBTQI rights is being swept under the rug, with both sides of government occasionally kicking around the issue like a game of football, yet with such wide approval for same sex marriage equality across the country it makes you wonder why it is still being debated.