The Federal Government’s same-sex marriage plebiscite has hit a major roadblock, after the Greens announced today that it would block legislation to enable the nationwide vote.
Greens leader Richard Di Natale made the surprising announcement at a press conference in Melbourne on Friday, saying ``We should never put questions of human rights to an opinion poll. The Greens won’t support this waste of money that is designed to delay equality and give a megaphone to hate and homophobia.”
LGBTIQ spokeswoman Janet Rice told The Guardian that the fastest way to achieve marriage equality was to have a free vote explaining, “blocking the plebiscite will increase the pressure on Malcolm Turnbull and the coalition to catch up with the rest of the world”
The decision by the Greens places increased pressure on Labor to finalise its stance. However Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has already dismissed the plebiscite as "ridiculous" and a "delaying tactic" which serves as an indication they might also block the bill, reports The SMH.
According to gay federal Liberal MP Tim Wilson “if the law doesn’t change, it will be on Bill Shorten and Richard Di Natale for three years because they said this issue isn’t worth fighting for.”
The spokesperson for Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays Sharyn Faulkner said, “Our LQBTI children should not have to plead with millions of other Australians to have their fundamental rights recognized, while at the same time enduring hate and bile.”
Australian Marriage Equality chairman Alex Greenwich said that before parliament resumes a pathway to marriage equality must be agreed on.
“No one party has the numbers by themselves to achieve marriage equality through a parliamentary vote or a plebiscite, we call on our leaders to urgently come together and deliver marriage equality in line with the wishes of the Australian people.”