Australia's Opposition Leader Says Gay Marriage A Priority


Australia’s opposition leader has said that marriage equality would be his party’s priority if elected to power in upcoming elections.


Labour leader Bill Shorten laid out his plans for “inclusive economic growth” in a speech to National Press Club on Tuesday (June 28).

“The first piece of legislation I introduce into the 45th Parliament will be a bill to amend the marriage act, a simple change. The words “a man and a woman” are replaced with “two people”, no $160 million plebiscite, no hurtful, hateful government-sponsored advertising campaign for us,” he said.

“I don’t accept the proposition we’ll run an honourable second in this election … what happens after the election [with the plebiscite] if we don’t win, we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.”

Bill Shorten repeated his campaign promise on Twitter

Some Coalition MPs have said they will abstain from voting in the parliament to pass a same-sex marriage law if the plebiscite backing same-sex marriage passes, or that they will vote in line with their electorate rather than the nation, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.

Elsewhere, Shorten accused the incumbent coalition of “fundamentally” misunderstanding the cause of the global instability spurred by Britain’s Brexit, drawing parallels between Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the ruling political elite who presided over the UK referendum.

“It comes from a sense of inequality,” said Shorten. “It comes from exactly the same sort of cynicism in policies that Mr Turnbull’s offering Australians at this election. Tax cuts for the rich, nothing for the working and middle-class Australians, telling a generation of young Australians shut out of the housing market to get rich parents, pricing kids out of university, cutting funding from Medicare.”

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