Tanya Plibersek
Deputy Opposition leader Tanya Plibersek

Deputy Opposition leader Tanya Plibersek introduced the Marriage Amendment Marriage Equality Bill 2016 to the House of Representatives.

Plibersek took the opportunity to highlight why the proposed plebiscite is unnecessary. Referencing the 70 per cent of Australians that have been recorded as supporting marriage equality, Plibersek said parliament needs to “get it done.”

“For kids who’ve got two mums and two dads, to hear for months, or possibly even years, that there is something not right about their families, I just think is unforgivable and unacceptable,” she said.

Plibersek identified the plebiscite as a stalling tactic, saying that former Prime Minister Tony Abbott threatened members of his party that supported a free vote.

“Instead, he proposed a national plebiscite – expensive, divisive, and meaningless – but a way of delaying equality for a bit longer.” She added that the current Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was one of the members that “spoke publicly against this ‘captain’s call.’”

She addressed Mr Turnbull, who has kept with Abbott’s plan for the plebiscite, saying that he is an “enormous disappointment.”

“He sold out LGBT Australians, traded away their right to equality, to become Prime Minister. He signed up to the plebiscite delaying tactic to secure the support of the Liberal Party’s right wing.”

Although it is unlikely that this bill will advance, Plibersek is steadfast. “Our push for equality is not going away. Think of this bill as a marker – more than that, think of it as a promise. A promise that Labor will introduce legislation for marriage equality in the first 100 days of a Shorten Labor Government.”