The position of Australian PM is a little bit like a revolving door these days, with Prime Ministers seeming to last months instead of years.
One of the main issues that has been a point of contention, despite calls from the Australian public to legalise it, is the issue of same-sex marriage. Now the Australian opposition leader, Bill Shorten, has promised that the first thing he will do if elected is pass same-sex marriage.
As we know, the current Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is planning on holding a public vote after the upcoming federal election, which is a very expensive compromise to avoid a large rift between him and his ultra conservative MPs.
The opposing Labor Party have said that the move is pointless as well as expensive, as there is no reason why parliament can’t just have a free vote given that the majority of MPs back marriage equality.
The Australian election is set to begin soon on July 2, and Bill Shorten has pledged that his will be his first act in government if elected.
“The first piece of legislation I introduce into the 45th Parliament will be a bill to amend the marriage act, a simple change. The words ‘a man and a woman’ are replaced with ‘two people’, no A$160 million plebiscite, no hurtful, hateful government-sponsored advertising campaign for us.”
When asked if he would support the plebiscite (public vote) if he loses, he replied: “I don’t accept the proposition we’ll run an honourable second in this election … what happens after the election if we don’t win, we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.”
He expanded on his claims on Facebook, saying: “As Prime Minister, the first piece of legislation I introduce into the 45th Parliament will be a bill to amend the Marriage Act. No $160 million plebiscite, no hurtful, hateful government-sponsored advertising campaign. It’s time to make marriage equality a reality.”
A strong move, only time will tell if it pays off.