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Labor sides with the Liberals to dodge marriage equality vote

Media Release
Janet Rice 17 Mar 2016

The Greens are disappointed that the Australian Labor Party has sided with the Liberals to prevent a vote on marriage equality in the parliament today.

"Earlier today in a last ditch effort to derail senate reform, Labor tried to drag out debate on marriage equality. The Greens opposed this and instead moved to actually vote for marriage equality," Greens marriage equality spokesperson Senator Robert Simms said.

"The Labor Party sided with the Liberals to scuttle this opportunity. After years of debate in the parliament and the community we don't need more discussion - we need a vote.

"Given they did not support the Greens efforts to get a vote on the bill today, it seems their shameful and misleading attacks were simply a cynical ploy to wedge the Greens on an issue that has been a core priority for our party over decades.

As a an out and proud gay man, I was disgusted to see the rights of my community being used a dirty political tactic. Our community deserves more than to have the ALP use marriage equality as a political football.

"The ALP had six years in government to make marriage equality a reality, yet they voted against the Greens bill in the parliament and stalled progress on this reform. Back in 2004 they sided with the Liberals to amend the Marriage Act to shut down the prospect of marriage equality. And today they prevented a vote in the parliament. The contrast with the Greens' proud record standing up for this reform is plain for all to see.

"Despite Labor's games in the parliament this week, we know with cross-party support we can get this through without a costly and unnecessary plebiscite. The challenge is now for Malcolm Turnbull to give his party a free vote.

"The Greens have not and will not ever oppose a bill on marriage equality. We were ready to vote for this reform today just as we always have - every MP, every time. It is Labor who have stood in the way. The community can be assured that The Greens will not stop until marriage equality is a reality in Australia."


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