Germany shows Australia a way forward

Germany’s parliament has shown Australians how to break the deadlock of our current same sex marriage debate – by holding a swift parliamentary conscience vote.

The NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby today calls on the Prime Minister of Australia and all Federal Parliamentarians to immediately support a parliamentary conscience vote on same sex marriage.

Co-convenor Lauren Foy said, “The Prime Minister has shown he’s a fan of German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the past, and as a fellow leader of a centre-right political party, he has no excuse to drag the chain and slug taxpayers with a $160 million non-binding plebiscite.

“In the same week that Prime Minister Turnbull said there’s no path to marriage equality without a plebiscite, Angela Merkel – the daughter of a Christian pastor and leader of Germany’s Christian Democrat party – has resolved the issue,” Foy said.

Foy said the example from Germany has been roundly accepted not just as good policy but smart, pragmatic politics.

“The Prime Minister likes to say politics is the art of the possible. It’s time Prime Minister Turnbull work with this Senate, like he did on Gonski funding, to hold a conscience vote instead of a plebiscite – or, in his own words, get nothing done.*”

“Australians won’t be treated as mugs any longer. The Prime Minister and every other federal politician should earn their pay rises today and finally move a vote on same sex marriage – like Germany’s elected representatives did yesterday,” Foy said.

The NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby calls on friends and family members across the nation to contact their local MP and the Prime Minister with a simple message: it’s time to end the deadlock on same sex marriage – Parliament must be given a conscience vote on marriage equality now!

*Phillip Coorey, Australian Financial Review, 23rd June 2017

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