The issue of same-sex marriage in Australia is certainly an interesting one, as despite there being support in parliament for a governmental vote, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is instead going for a very costly public vote.
The outspoken TV host has labelled their reluctance to simply legalise same-sex marriage, instead of a hugely expensive and complicated plebiscite, as “bonkers”.
Graham said: “Australia does seem Billy bonkers about it. Here is a country that is so gay friendly and the pink dollar is huge for you guys, it baffles me that you don’t have it yet.”
“Because you would think that Australia would have led the world in something like that because Australia is very good at promoting itself as this young modern democracy. Yet you’ve got this really arcane thing going on that America, which is so slow about change, that even they’ve managed it. It’s peculiar.”
He also drew comparisons between Australia’s approach, and the public vote that took place in Ireland. Despite 62% of the public voting in favour of marriage equality, the law has yet to be put into place thanks to constant roadblocks from the DUP.
There have been concerns that not only will a public vote open Australia up to a similar fate, groups such as PFLAG have expressed worries that a plebiscite will only lead to a very open homophobic debate when the matter could be solved swiftly by parliament.
“I think Ireland is a very optimistic story it’s a very hopeful story because in the Ireland I left in the early 80s you could never ever have predicted that that country and those people would have voted for gay people to vote for the right to marry.”
There is still hope in Australia, however, as PM Malcolm Turnbull’s efforts are being blocked by Labour opposition leader Bill Shorten, and other opponents, who wish to see a quicker and less damaging parliament vote on the matter.
There is more than enough support within the Australian government to make same-sex marriage a reality, so the financial costs and the risk of bringing a ugly, lengthy debate into the public is seen as unnecessary by many.