By planning a plebiscite on same-sex marriage the federal government is making a costly decision that would have no legally binding outcome.
Nanjing Night Net

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is attempting to move ahead with hisplans, estimated to cost taxpayers$160 million.

A plebisciteis a vote by citizens on a matter of national significance, but one thatdoes not affect the Constitution. It doesnot forcea government to act on the outcome.

Opponentsarguethe PM’splebiscitewill be damaging to vulnerable people and pointless because it will notbind members of Parliament. Instead, they favourMPs being given a free vote.

There have been only three national plebiscites in Australia, twounsuccessful.

In2011, the then-Opposition Leadercalled for a national plebiscite on a carbon tax, a move prominent constitutional lawyer George Williamssaidwas “understandable as a political tactic”.He said as plebiscites made no changes to the lawtheywere an “expensive opinion poll”.

“Plebiscites are rare in Australia. They go against the grain of a system in which we elect parliamentarians to make decisions on our behalf,” he said.

Thisdebate over same-sex marriage has continued for a long time.

Media agenciesacross the nation findnew angles to cover the issueas itcontinues to provoke heated response fromboth sidesof the argument, and politicians have delayed legislatingby at first refusing to address the issue,and now by attempting a plebiscite.

But, with so much time and energy spent arguingin Australia, are there other issues politicians are not addressing that are slipping by without our knowledge?

It is inevitableif Australiawants to support human rights andkeep up with other developed countries around the world thathavelegalised same-sexmarriage– the UK, New Zealand, Norway, France, Canada, South Africa, Sweden, Uruguay,Argentinaand some states in the USto name a few.

Gay marriage will affect about4.1 per centof men and 2.8 per centof womeninAustralia – reported in astudyby Roy Morgan Research -who will finally be able to exchange vows,but such a step would go towards supportinghuman rights and equality in our nation as a whole.

It is only a matter of time before same-sex unions areratified in Australia.But how long are we going to wait?

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.