Lyle Shelton
Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby Lyle Shelton

The petition requests that neither the organizations for or against marriage equality receive funds for plebiscite campaign.

A petition started by Australian Marriage Equality (AME) is requesting that the government not fund either side of the marriage equality debate. 

The government is slowly moving towards holding a plebiscite on the issue and Attorney General George Brandis has started preparing a submission on how the plebiscite would function. 

The already controversial plebiscite is estimated to cost $160 million and the results will not bind government officials, meaning they will be able to vote ‘no’ even if the results are overwhelmingly for marriage equality. 

The attorney general’s proposal is expected to include provisions as to whether the government should provide funds for both the ‘yes’ and ‘no’ sides. 

AME has stated numerous times before that taxpayer money should not go into funding. In a statement released in July, AME Chair Alex Greenwich said, “We did not ask for a plebiscite, but if one is imposed upon us we do not think Australian taxpayers should pay for the respective campaigns.”

He continued to say that the $160 million cost is already expensive and the organization does not “think its right that more public money is added to the cost of a plebiscite.” 

In contrast, managing director of the Australian Christian Lobby Lyle Shelton, said on Monday that, “There’s definitely an expectation that there would be public funding of equal amounts.” 

Featured on the petition are Rebecca and Daniel, a husband and wife that say they are raising their children to “believe in equality for all.” 

The couple states that they do not want their three children exposed “to potentially harmful advertising messages from groups like the Australian Christian Lobby—and we definitely don’t want our taxes paying for it.” 

The petition has gained 2,684 of the 3,000 signature goal since being published.

To read the full petition and sign, click here