Australia: Politicians should not ignore public vote on marriage

Politicians should think very carefully before they “snub their nose” at the Australian people by refusing to implement their viewpoint on same-sex marriage, Liberal minister Steve Ciobo said today, after a conservative senator said he would not be bound by the result of a national plebiscite.

Following a marathon six-hour government party room meeting in Canberra last August, Tony Abbott announced it would be for “the people to decide” whether to repeal the 12-year-old law defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

However Eric Abetz, a former member of Tony Abbott’s cabinet, expressed his view that the plebiscite’s result should not necessarily sway MPs to vote in parliament one way or another. Mark Dreyfus, the opposition legal affairs spokesman, said Senator Abetz had made a “mockery” of the plebiscite and recommitted a Labor government to legislate same-sex marriage.

“This absurd notion makes a complete joke of our democratic process and renders a $160 million national plebiscite totally pointless,” Mr Dreyfus said. Read more via Guardian Australia