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Statement on Labor's decision not to support the plebiscite

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SENATOR THE HON GEORGE BRANDIS QC ATTORNEY-GENERAL SENATOR THE HON SCOTT RYAN SPECIAL MINISTER OF STATE ________________________________________________________________________________


At the July election, the Coalition promised Australians that the issue of same-sex marriage would be put to a public vote as soon as practicable.

This is the first time an Australian government of any persuasion has offered a direct path to resolve the question of whether same-sex marriage should be legalised in Australia.

It is also the first time an Australian government of any persuasion has released draft amendments to the Marriage Act to legalise same-sex marriage.

In keeping with its promise, the Government consulted extensively, and in good faith, setting out a fair process that would give Australians the chance to have their say on whether the law should be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry.

The Government offered to work with the Labor Party to bring about a public vote.

In response, the Labor Party rejected the wishes of the Australian people to resolve this issue by plebiscite, and refused to deal with the Government in good faith.

Labor did nothing to progress same-sex marriage during their six years in Government. And now they continue to stall progress in Opposition.

Rather than working with the Government to see this matter settled, Bill Shorten and Labor have chosen to play politics with the lives of gay people. Their cynical decision this morning will ensure this debate will continue for years to come.

11 October 2016

Media Contacts:

Attorney-General: 02 6277 7300 Special Minister of State: 02 6277 7760