The Greens on the north coast have condemned the Coalition party room’s decision to deny its members a free vote on the issue of marriage equality for same-sex couples.
Tweed-based Greens spokesperson Dawn Walker has condemned the move as ‘another example of disgraceful lack of leadership from [a] Prime Minister, who has again shown that he is out of touch with the community,’.
‘Australia is lagging behind the rest of the world on this issue and Australians want us to catch up, but Tony Abbott is determined to hold us back,’ Ms Walker said on the weekend.
She added that the coalition’s idea of a plebiscite was risible.
‘A plebiscite would be a costly $150 million tax-payer funded poll to find out what we already know – that over 70 per cent of Australians support marriage equality.
‘The prime minister has shown he simply doesn’t want to listen.
‘The Greens have put a private members bill before parliament that would remove discrimination from the Marriage Act and give same-sex couples the right to marry and allow for overseas same-sex marriages to be recognised in Australia.
‘If the parliament votes for marriage equality, Australia will join countries like Ireland, Canada, Spain, Sweden and South Africa in recognising same-sex marriage.
‘We have an exciting opportunity here – let’s work together and get marriage equality right.’