For release: 24 May 2015
The Australian people should have a say on same-sex marriage through a national plebiscite, according to the Australian Christian Lobby.
ACL Managing Director Lyle Shelton said he respected Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s view that marriage was probably not an issue for a constitutional referendum.
“However, changing the definition of marriage in law is a monumental and very divisive issue with big consequences.
“The people should have a say through a plebiscite before it goes back to the Parliament,” Mr Shelton said.
“Those seeking to change the definition of marriage always seem confident of public support. Let them put it to the test by asking for the peoples’ endorsement.
“A plebiscite would allow parliamentarians to then cast their votes in Parliament guided by the will of the Australian community.”
In designing the conduct of a plebiscite, Mr Shelton said two conditions should be laid out.
- Modest but equal public funding for the ‘yes’ and ‘no’ case.
- A prohibition on international donations.
Plebiscites are non-binding but can help settle matters of great national importance, Mr Shelton said.