The issue of same-sex marriage is derailing the government’s attempts to promote its agenda, as tension mounts ahead of a special Liberal Party meeting on Monday and parliament’s resumption on Tuesday.
The executive director of The Equality Campaign, Tiernan Brady, a leader of the successful “Yes” campaign for same-sex marriage in Ireland, has been working with activists in Australia to get marriage equality over the line.
He says the majority of Coalition MPs and the opposition just “want to find a solution”, and that the five Liberal “rebels” trying to get an early parliamentary vote have been “really brave and shown real leadership”.
Brady says the best outcome would be for the government to facilitate a free vote in parliament. A popular vote would be “politically unnecessary, legally unnecessary and legally unbinding”. “The day this happens nobody is going to be less married, and nobody is going to be more gay, and the world rolls on, the sky doesn’t fall in.”
Authors: Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra