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A plebiscite on same-sex marriage would be a failure of parliament’s responsibility

Matt Collins writes in The Conversation (4.3.16) about the shortcomings of the federal government’s commitment to holding a plebiscite on the issue of same-sex marriage. He argues that the plebiscite approach is essentially an abrogation of parliamentary responsibility.

‘If Australia holds a fairly conducted plebiscite on legalising same-sex marriage after the next election, the result will almost certainly reflect what we already know from an unbroken line of reputable opinion polls.

‘Success for the “yes” case will come, in time, to be seen as extraordinarily empowering for same-sex-attracted Australians. This is not a case, however, where the ends will justify the means.

‘The debate will be divisive. Some on the “no” side are apparently bent on using the cover of a plebiscite to advance specious arguments connecting same-sex marriage with the abuse of children, sexually transmitted diseases and drug abuse.’

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