“The High Court has made it clear that it is within the power of Parliament to legislate for marriage equality,” says NSW GLRL Co-Convenor, Justin Koonin. “A plebiscite is a costly way of resolving a matter that should be the responsibility of Parliament. Estimates have placed the cost of holding a plebiscite at over $120 million.”
Nevertheless, the political risk of the Government independently setting the terms for a plebiscite is real. The NSW GLRL and VGLRL therefore welcome the Senate’s move to establish an inquiry into a national vote on marriage equality, which will provide an opportunity for the community to be heard on the terms of any plebiscite including whether there should be one.
“We are aware of concerns about the impacts a protracted public debate on young or vulnerable LGBTI people and their families,” says VGLRL Co-Convenor, Sean Mulcahy. “What we have seen in recent weeks is no matter what kind of a debate occurs it will be divisive and may impact on the mental health of LGBTI people,”
The NSW GLRL and VGLRL have partnered in developing a short survey to gain the views of the LGBTI community on whether there should be a public vote on marriage equality and, if there is a vote, when and how it should be held and what can be done to protect vulnerable LGBTI people.
The NSW GLRL and VGLRL will be making a submission to the inquiry and will include the views of the LGBTI community within their submissions. To participate in the survey, click here by 3 September 2015.