Humanists reject marriage equality plebiscite

Published Wed, 14/09/2016 - 12:32

Today, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has introduced legislation to hold a marriage equality plebiscite in Parliament.

This plebiscite has been rejected by the people most affected by the issue; LGBTIQ+ Australians who will have to endure the campaign. A campaign that will no doubt be characterised by hateful rhetoric from bigoted religious extremists and fundamentalists.

The Council of Australian Humanist Societies does not support this plebiscite.

Australian Humanists have a history of standing along side as allies of LGBTIQ+ people in Australia and we will continue to stand by them as allies in this matter. We cannot stand idly by as the risks to LGBTIQ+ people, particularly youth and children of non-straight couples increase from a tax payer funded campaign denigrating them and their families.

Fundamenal human rights should never be decided by a popular vote. Women's suffrage was not decided by a popular vote; Aboriginal voting rights were not decided by a popular vote; the right of a married woman to own property and make contracts was not decided by a popular vote. The right of LGBTIQ+ people to marry the person of their own choosing should not be decided by a popular vote.

There are currently 3 separate bills before parliament advancing the cause of marriage equality. The Council of Australian Humanist Societies calls on the government to abandon their ill-considered and dangerous plebiscite plan and to instead support one of those private members bills or to introduce one of their own and allow a free vote to all coalition MPs.

Scott Sharrad

Council of Australia Humanist Societies inc.

Phone: 00403 835 058