Lisa Baker
Lisa Baker

The openly gay MP urged the Turnbull Government to make a decisive decision to legalise marriage equality and not rely on a plebiscite.

Lisa Baker, Labor MP, responded to Liberal MP Peter Abetz’s speech regarding marriage equality and the Stolen Generation with a passionate speech to the government.

She stated “For me, this is personal for me because I am not permitted to marry the person that I love. I’m again asking that you stand with me against outdated, fearful and hopelessly compromised views about what it means to be gay in Australia in the 21st century.

Ms. Baker has dismissed the Federal Government’s plan to rely on a plebiscite in deciding if they will support or oppose marriage equality. Instead, she has moved a motion in the Legislative Assembly that calls for the Federal Parliament to make changes to the Marriage Act allowing gay and lesbian couples to legally wed.

In her statement, she addressed the minimum cost of a plebiscite, $158 million of taxpayers’ money. A plebiscite would not be binding on the Government and could lead to more issues.

Telling Parliament that a plebiscite is “a giant and very expensive opinion poll” and that “the Government doesn’t have to act on the results.”

She continued  “I would argue that a plebiscite with the accompanying media hype and public campaigns will be divisive and will only serve to rip the community apart further.”

Although new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says he personally supports marriage equality, he has decided to support his party’s original plan in conducting a national plebiscite.

Addressing Mr. Turnbull, Ms. Baker said “Prime Minister, I am standing with 72 per cent of Australians side-by-side and telling you that now is the time to reconsider your party’s delaying tactics. Prime Minister, I’m asking you to show courage, authority and leadership on this issue.”