Federal election 2016: Bill Shorten flips on gay plebiscite
The Australian 29 June 2016
Family First Comment: 2013 – “But in terms of a plebiscite — I would rather the people of Australia could make their view clear on this than leaving this issue to 150 people.”
2016 – the proposal for a same-sex marriage plebiscite would be a “taxpayer-funded ¬platform for homophobia”
Hopefully Shorten will fail this weekend.
Bill Shorten told religious leaders and Christian voters in the final days of the 2013 election campaign that he was “completely relaxed about having some form of plebiscite” on same-sex marriage.
In video footage ¬obtained by The Australian, the ¬Opposition Leader outlined a position that is in stark contrast to his claims ¬yesterday that a plebiscite would be a taxpayer-funded platform to give a “green light” to ¬homophobia and hate. Mr Shorten told the Australian Christian Lobby forum in his electorate that he preferred “the Australian people make their view known” to the 150 MPs in federal parliament. “Personally speaking, I’m completely relaxed about having some form of plebiscite,’’ he said. “I’d be wary of trying to use a referendum and a constitutional mechanism to start tampering with the Marriage Act. “But in terms of a plebiscite — I would rather the people of Aust¬ralia could make their view clear on this than leaving this issue to 150 people.” He told the Christian forum, which was webcast, he supported same-sex marriage and did not support a referendum but he did not think parliament would act.
Mr Shorten used his final election address to the National Press Club yesterday to pledge Labor’s first act would be to introduce a same-sex marriage bill into parliament and accused Malcolm Turnbull of settling for a “second-best option” of a plebiscite because of a “grubby deal with the right wing of the Liberal Party”. He repeated his attack that the proposal for a same-sex marriage plebiscite would be a “taxpayer-funded ¬platform for homophobia” and -refused to say if Labor in opposition would pass the proposal through the Senate. He also used the plebiscite commitment — made by Tony Abbott as prime minister and adopted by Mr Turnbull — to accuse Mr Turnbull of weakness and allowing a “green light” for homophobia and hate. “Why on earth can’t the Liberal Party just let their politicians do their day job rather than (spending) $160 million (on a plebiscite) to make up for Mr Turnbull’s deal to become the leader of the Liberal Party,” he said. “Mr Turnbull knows that he’s come up with the second-best ¬option. He knows if he had his way, if he was genuinely leading the Liberal Party, if he was actually the man in charge rather than simply the guy who is the front for the Liberal Party, then he would go for a vote in parliament.”