I’m concerned about the possibility of community backlash. A plebiscite would have been one path forward, but I don’t want people to feel like I’m forcing this change onto them.

I’m concerned about the possibility of community backlash. A plebiscite would have been one path forward, but I don’t want people to feel like I’m forcing this change onto them.

In the end, Australians came to oppose the plebiscite for a number of understandable reasons. It amounted to a $175 million public opinion poll. Even after the plebiscite, Parliament would still have to have voted to allow marriage equality. Meanwhile it’s clear why lots of mental health experts asked the government not to do this (imagine growing up an LGBTI kid in a small town; or being the child of a gay couple and seeing months of taxpayer-funded ads telling you that your family is wrong or you don’t have the same right to love and happiness). For your constituents who might question your vote, you can explain to them that treating people unfairly and unequally is a thing of the past. As a decent and fair nation, our attitudes have evolved over time on a range of issues – including race, sexuality and gender. The vast majority of Australians (including people of faith) believe it’s now time to make marriage available to every Australian. Happily, marriage equality does not take anything away from anyone. It does not affect anyone else’s marriage. It will not change anything for the majority of Australians but will mean a great deal to the dignity and happiness of some.

A:

I imagine you frequently have to vote on issues where you get disagreement from some in the community. It must be hard sometimes, but it’s part of the job. How is marriage equality any different? What would you like your legacy to be in another 10 or 20 years when we look back on this issue?

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All Australians should be able to get married

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